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Friday, June 08, 2018

The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones, from 2014 and directed by James Pogue, is a moderately successful horror flick, conjuring up a lot of dread and is decidedly anti-science. Academics, take heed: don't propose an experiment where you lock a girl in a room and play Quiet Riot to keep her from sleeping.

Set in Oxford in 1974, the film stars Jared Harris as a psychology professor who believes firmly that supernatural phenomena come from people's emotions. So he doesn't believe in ghosts, but he believes in telekinesis. He and two assistants and a cameraman (Sam Caflin) document the case of Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke), who is seemingly possessed by a girl named Evey. Harris thinks Evey is like a tumor in Cooke, and wants to isolate it and get rid of it.

Kicked out of Oxford (rightly so) the crew head into the country to an old house (of course). Jane is observed doing things like starting fires with her hands. Caflin starts to have feelings for Jane, and gets angry at how Harris is treating her. Needless to say, bad things happen.

Supposedly based on a true story, The Quiet Ones (don't know why it's called that) was engaging and had some standard horror tropes, such as hand-held camera shots during a blackout (the only light from the camera) and false scares (a crash is heard--it's just the two assistants having sex and breaking the bed). But I didn't find the film stupid--it at least attempted to ground itself in reality, and Cooke, who is fast becoming a star, is very good. She's got dark circles under her eyes and stringy hair, but she's still fetching.

If you're a horror aficionado check it out.

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