Movie Review: The Quiet Ones
By: Meg Humphrey
Thanks to Lionsgate and GeekGirlCon, I got to attend a screening of The Quiet Ones a day before it came out! Let me preface this with two things: this is my first time going to a screening and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a movie in the theater alone! I had no idea what to expect. Turns out, a lot of people go to showings who have no idea what the movie is about! Now, I haven’t seen a horror movie in the theater since Cabin in the Woods, so the experience of being in a packed theater for one was unusual for me. It’s not a bad experience, but one I’m not sure makes it better personally.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the film. Professor Joseph Coupland has dedicated his life and career to proving that supernatural events occur due to mental illness. Negative energy that is created in the minds of those “afflicted” is unknowingly harnessed by the host and is used to lash out in psychic events. He believes he can cure people who suffer like this and therefore can rid the world of mental illness. In order to prove himself correct, he conducts an experiment to cure Jane Harper who is “haunted” by a vengeful spirit. Along with his students Krissi and Harry, and the unsure cameraman, Brian, the team sets off to help rid Jane of her figurative demons.
- The acting was great in the small cast. It was nice to see Ben Calfin (you may remember him as Finnick from Catching Fire) in a fairly emotional lead role. Olivia Cooke was convincing as the tortured Jane Harper – a role that is easily to oversell and turn cheesey. Jared Harris was superb and will probably creep me out for forever.
- The premise was based on the terrible things that Jane could conjure, but the real horror, for me anyway, ended up being the terrible things that people can do when they become obsessed. Zealots are scary! The by-any-means-necessary obsession for results always leads down a dark path. The movie did itself a service by highlighting this aspect of the film as much as the supernatural.
- There were a couple of CGI special effects that ruined intense and key moments. I’m a big fan of practical effects and the movie could have been better if they knocked the CG out in favor of some real tricks.
- There was a conflicting tone of humor/satire that was too prevalent in the last 30 minutes. Self aware horror is great, but I felt like their use of humor was too heavy handed at the end when there was little to no trace of it for the greater part of the movie. It worked okay, but it could have been balanced out better.
Overall, it was an enjoyable horror film, especially for a PG-13 rating. It wasn’t too long and it was paced just right to keep me entertained and apprehensive. I’m far from squeamish about even the most terrible acts in horror films, but I hope The Quiet Ones is just the next step in the vein of horror that resists the exploitation of sexual violence on women and the belief that more entrails equals a better movie.
For more movies similar to The Quiet Ones, check out The Conjuring, The Lady in Black, The Others, or The Intruders.