Friday, 2 May 2014

The Quiet Ones: Quite Fun

The latest film to come out of the revamped Hammer production company is a supernatural experiment based horror. The film is based on a Canadian experiment done in the 1970s called The Philip Experiment and stars Sam Claflin (Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel)

The film is set in England, not Canada, during the 1970s with Sam's character joining the world of the experiment as their cameraman. The period setting of the film was pulled off superbly and felt like a great homage to Hammer's heyday. A week before this film I saw another supernatural experiment film called "The Apparition", it paled in comparison. The Quiet Ones delivered on what was promised in the trailer and managed to have me on the edge of my seat a couple times throughout the film. This mostly occurred when they went into the "found footage" aspect of the film which was stylized to look like it was from the era.
Hey Jane, ever heard of shaken baby syndrome?
 Now there are two things that I found frustrating about the movie. First was the portrayal of women in it. Yes I know the 70s were a more sexist time, but the only two female characters in the film were two classic horror tropes, "the possessed girl" who also acts as a damsel in distress and "the girl who sleeps around". It would have been nice to see a woman who wasn't a stereotype in the film and for them to have also explored how living in such an isolated group would have created a cult dynamic.

What is the second thing that got my goat you might ask? It was the high levels of deus ex machina in the third act. There were several instances of "oh this person was actually this person" that were far too convenient. The ending felt like they didn't have a clear plan of where they were taking it, so they just slapped together an ending they thought would scare the audience. Up until then the film had some great moments and overall left me feeling satisfied with how I had spent my two hours.
This cameraman really should have been fired from the get go. Flirting with the patient, not cool.

Now in terms of how close the film was to the actual experiment, I would say not very. They took a couple of ideas from it and used the same era, then went wild with it. Now I can see exactly why they would do that since nothing truly horrific happened in the actual event and it wouldn't have made for much of a narrative.

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