Thursday, May 15, 2014
The Quiet Ones (2014)
Direted by: John Pogue
Written by: Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman, and John Pogue. Based on a Screenplay by Tom de Ville.
Starring: Jared Harris, Sam Claffin, Olivia Cooke.
In 2012 Hammer Pictures released "The Women in Black" which I went to see and immensely enjoyed, in fact it was my favorite horror film of 2012. So naturally i`ve been eagerly awaiting there next film "The Quiet Ones"for two years now, and unfortunately I have to say I walked away a little disappointed. Its not a "bad" film but its flaws definitely out way its pluses.
One thing this movie does have going for it is it does have a good plot. Its set in the 1970s in Oxford, England were Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) is attempting to create a poltergeist and in doing so prove that the ''supernatural'' doesn't exist but is just a manifestation of a form of mental illness resulting from an excess of negative energy and that if he can cure one person of this he can cure the world of the "supernatural''. As you can see (or maybe its just me) but the basic plot is very interesting and original. I have to add though like so many horror movies these days this one is "inspired by true events'', and I guess a little bit of this stuff actually happened except in it took place in Canada not England.
Problem is this good plot is just not presented very well. I`m not sure how to explain it but its just one of those movies that you can tell they did a lot of rewrites on and had probably too many writers trying to get there to get their individual ideas crammed into the movie. One indicator of this is its the film says "based on a screenplay by Tom De Ville'' and this movie is not a remake. A lot of the ideas end up getting convoluted like; the scandalous love affair triangle that's going, the "this is a hoax" sensations, and the ancient Sumerian demon cult, all just didn't end up blending together very well.
My next issue I had was how the movie kept going between found footage and not being found footage, which got old for me. It didn't make it any scarier and the fact that i`d say 3/4 of the movie is found footage really disappointing me (in case you couldn't tell i`m not a fan of found footage). I admit that at first it was a kind of cool novelty to see it transfer into this grain 70`s film footage but it wore off pretty quickly. The other thing that I didn't really like was the off and on sexual tension between the camera guy Brian McNeil and the proposed possessed girl Jane. It felt awkward and like it was thrown in haphazardly.
I will say though the actors give it there best. Especially Jared Harris, you can tell he`s embraced the character and made it as convincing as possible. In fact i`m disappointed there wasn`t more of his character in the film. The next person who stood out for me was Olivia Cooke who plays the possessed girl. I found out later shes from the TV show "Bates Motel" (which i`ve never watched), but here shes very creepy and very interesting to watch. I understand this is one of her first roles in a feature film. Shes about to be in that upcoming science fiction film "The Signal" that's coming out in next month, so hopefully she will continue having a productive career in acting.
"The Quiet Ones" was a good try by the recently revived Hammer Pictures but unfortunately despite the good story, the film just doesn't end up being more than a so-so forgettable film. Hopefully Hammers next film which I believe is going to be a sequel to the "The Woman in Black" will be a more successful film. On a side note, yes I have seen all the new Hammer films which counting this one is about five (I`m not counting that made for internet movie "Rave to the Grave") and if I were to rank them i`d rank "The Quiet Ones" as the third best of the five.