If you miss this movie, it will really be okay. If you do see this movie, it will probably keep you interested. that’s really the best way I can explain whether or not this movie was entertaining. I won’t be busting down doors to recommend The Quiet Ones to my friends, but it is a decent little film with an original concept, with not exciting, but effective technical qualities.
Set in the seventies, The Quiet Ones follow a group of college students and their Oxford professor who set out to prove that supernatural occurrences are simply physical manifestations of living people’s emotional turmoil. Their experiment involves a series of tests and sit in sessions run on a mentally feeble young lady named Jane. Jane refers to her alter ego/oppressing demon as Evee. What we see is what happens whenever a medical experiment runs off track in a really bad way. The longer the experiment goes on, naturally, the more violent the “spirit” or emotional events become. In particular, Evee has a penchant for burning things and people. By the end of the film, the professor is still convinced that everything that is happening is happening because Jane is creating actual physical responses, albeit strange ones, to her own feelings of anger and depression. Of course, the rest of the team disagrees, but we never find out who is right. All of this is packaged in a neat package of simple shots and clear lighting. Nothing to hide. And on the bright side, there are no stereotypical horror movie jump scares. No pale skinned figures with widely opened mouths. No crazy an unnecessary scary voices. No figures moving in the back of the room, or jerky editing of said figure to make it look not of this world. The dialogue and atmosphere pull all of the weight here, and the special effects that are used, are used in moderation.
So, this movie will potentially leave you feeling a bit unfulfilled. Personally, I felt that the fact that the film is left open to interpretation was sort of neat. We could believe that Professor Joseph Coupland was right. After all, there is no actual proof that he isn’t. Any evidence that manifests, he can explain by saying “Jane saw that weird esoteric symbol as a young girl, and it simply surfaced in her memory when she was telepathically burning all of us” (that was a paraphrasing, of course). On the other hand, you can believe that the professor is a fool, and that what happens to the crew is the result of ignoring obviously evil phenomenon. As far as I’m concerned, it’s actually more interesting if Jane is NOT possessed, because that’s a movie I’ve not seen before. Otherwise, this is just another demon film.
My only complaint here would be the ending. Even though Sam Claftin’s overall delivery was good, I was not at all convinced as I watched him in his “unstable” state of mind. Some people can pretend to be damaged, and other people just cannot. I don’t want to tell you exactly what happens to Sam’s character, the protagonist, but suffice it to say that as a survivor, he’s doesn’t particularly come out ahead.
Watch it if you have time. Don’t devote your only free time to this film though. That’s my assessment.