Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Olivia Cooke
Written by: Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman, John Pogue, Tom de Ville
Directed by: John Pogue
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and terror, sexual content, thematic material, language, and smoking throughout
Running Time: 98
Date: 04/25/2014
IMDB

The Quiet Ones (2014)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Personality Crisis

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Supposedly based on a true story, one that four different writers then adapted to the screen, The Quiet Ones doesn't actually tell a story or develop any kind of rising suspense or tingling chills so much as it does present a series of jump-shocks and sudden, loud noises. Half of these are actually related to the movie, and the other half are false scares, like a champagne cork going off, or someone accidentally dropping something.

In 1974, at Oxford, professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) teaches his students that the so-called supernatural only consists of things we don't yet understand. Then he gathers up two students, plus a cameraman, Brian (Sam Claflin), to conduct an experiment on a disturbed young woman, Jane (Olivia Cooke), who appears to be possessed. Joseph believes that Jane invented the secondary personality, called "Evey," and that she has the power to make "Evey" disappear as well. After much arguing, filming, and some painful-looking experiments, Jane begins to exhibit behavior that is not so easily explained. Can the academics solve the problem?

Rather than developing the five characters, building a dynamic, and increasing the stakes, director John Pogue (Quarantine 2: Terminal) simply shows the characters arguing with one another, or otherwise shows the Jane character screaming or undergoing some kind of cruel test. An annoying, abrasive soundtrack score makes noises like a repeating staple gun that simply grow louder. Actor Jared Harris gets in a few stylish moments, and the 1970s outfits are amusing, but otherwise the experience is more agitating than it is scary or fun.

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