Concise Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

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The Quiet Ones is a frustrating if at times intelligent, fascinating and ultimately sly picture. It primarily impresses as being a period found footage film. The camera moves that come in the form of academy aspect ratio have this great grainy, desaturated look that gives the film its creepy edge. Additionally, the film proudly steeps itself in the canon of Hammer Horror films. For example, the central character Professor Joseph Coupland feels like he is in the same vein as Van Helsing and Nicholas, Duc de Richleau. These are characters who have a fundamental mad obsession with their pursuits, whatever the means or cost of them. Jared Harris plays Coupland with enough understated menace to prevent him from being a one-note figure.

Finally, the film’s slyness is amusing. References to the Exorcist and The Grudge give the film an odd self-knowing edge that is appreciated even if it does occasionally undermine the period proceedings. Aside from that, the film proves to be a disappointing mess. The premise is intriguing, however, for all the scientific and psychological reasons that are given for Jane’s behaviour, these ultimately prove to be foolhardy. The lasting explanation did not have any build up and it made the entire film lose the intelligence that it once possessed. As a result, the Quiet Ones turned into a generic, twisty, jack in the box affair that while appealing to aficionados of Hammer Horror films may disappoint general audiences.

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About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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