Sunday, April 12, 2015

Film Review: The Quiet Ones (2014)

The Quiet Ones (Review)
United Kingdom/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...suffers from a lack of horror, repetitive storytelling, and the lack of a effective hook."

Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) enlists cameraman Brian (Sam Claflin) and two of his students in a parapsychology experiment...

The Quiet Ones follows this group as they experiment on their subject, Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke). Jane is a young and abandoned women who showcases bizarre phenomena. The goal: disprove the supernatural and cure Jane. The experiments become more and more peculiar as Jane shows her negative energy through an apparition she calls Evey. That's really everything you need to know about the plot -- it doesn't pack any surprises. I didn't like the ending, either.

The Quiet Ones has an interesting story. Although the genre has been overwhelmed by the supernatural, I'm always up for a good ghost or possession story -- I can't help myself. Unfortunately, The Quiet Ones is bland. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't. Aside from the generic yet interesting story, The Quiet Ones also suffers from a lack of horror, repetitive storytelling, and the lack of a effective hook. The horror mostly consists of jump-scares, but the suspense is minimal, which makes them mostly ineffective. There are some creepy scenes, but they're far and few between. Whenever the film might be heading for something scary, it abruptly cuts off -- Why?! Why cut to the next scene in the middle of a climactic scene?! It's almost like they had no idea how to transition from one scene to another. This may be more of a pet peeve, but I simply don't like it. Being blunt, this film did not frighten or excite me at all.

That brings me to my next point: the story is overwhelming repetitive, which leads to copious boredom. This film follows a very simple formula: experiment, talk or bicker while playing, experiment, bicker some more, experiment -- you get the point. Sure, it balances the film's plot points, but it also makes the film's lack of variety more blatant. Essentially, you're watching the same scene over-and-over. Finally, the lack of a hook. By this, I mean there was no immersion in this film. It really just drops you into this situation and says, "Watch it." I liked the settings and costume, but nothing really brought me into the story. I was able to watch it from beginning to end, but I could feel myself dozing off or my thoughts often trailed.

The acting is decent, though. Jared Harris was great as the aggressive professor. Sam Claflin was good as the unsure cameraman, too. Olivia Cooke wasn't bad, but she wasn't nearly as creepy as the film wants you to believe. Like I said, I liked the setting and costumes, which is captured well by the cinematography. The music was what you'd expect from a horror film -- it didn't really stand out, but it works. Director John Pogue crafts a by-the-books supernatural horror film; unfortunately, the lack of ambition makes this film bland and dull. It's competently-made, but severely lacking in the horror and creativity departments.

Overall, The Quiet Ones is a mediocre film. It's a well-made film with a good cast, but that's not enough. This film isn't frightening, exciting, or even entertaining. There are only a handful of decent scenes here, the rest of the film is hindered by it's been-there-done-that plot, repetitive story, and lack of effective horror. If you must watch it, I'd recommend a rental at most. Otherwise, The Quiet Ones belongs with The Boring Ones. (I had to!)

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, some brief nudity.

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