The Quiet Ones


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The film is perverse and weird but the director doesn't know how to choreograph it for maximum effect"

Quiet? You CANNOT be serious!

There are more bangs, crashes, howls and shouts than in a CIA rendition bunker. Even the moments of stillness are pregnant with expectation.

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The fashion for paranormal activities on film, otherwise known as The Blair Witch Project # 24, has proved immensely popular. Ghosts are definitely good for biz, devil worship less so, because you cannot improve on Rosemary's Baby.

Hammer Films, once famous for gentle horror with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, has entered the fray with this "inspired by actual events" evil possession screamathon. The result is all over the place, weakened by a silly script ("You are not possessed; you are just unwell"), a lead performance by Jared Harris, as the pervy professor, that would not pass muster at a village panto and some of the most confused camerawork ever conceived under the threat of an arts degree.

The story concerns Jane, an institutionalised young woman who has fits and throws things about. The Prof is convinced she has been possessed by an evil child, manifested in the form of a doll.

"Cure one," he tells his student helpers about the mentally deranged, "and you cure all mankind."


The helpers eventually decide that Jane, who is locked in a bare room in a big old house near Oxford in 1974, is being tortured and they are prisoners to the will of the chain smoking professor. One of them, the most shy and innocent, has a crush on Jane and wants to take her away from all this.

They are so off message. Jane is bonkers plus a dangerous piece of work, who can create fire by thinking about it and kill without remorse. She is aware of her burgeoning sexual needs as well and hits on her student admirer before the Prof intervenes, because he fancies her, too.

"Take your hands out of his trousers now," he orders.

The film is perverse and weird but director John Pogue doesn't know how to choreograph it for maximum effect and it looks a mess and is too loud to scare anything but the bats.

Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2014
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The Quiet Ones packshot
A University physics professor assembles a team of students for an experiment upon a possessed girl
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Director: John Pogue

Writer: Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman, John Pogue

Starring: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Laurie Calvert

Year: 2014

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, UK


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