To the extent that horror film The Quiet Ones is at all notable, it’s largely thanks to the work of sound supervisor Dan Snow and his team of audio technicians.
Whether it’s the sound of a champagne bottle being uncorked, or of bodies slammed into walls by unseen forces, it’s the audio crew’s handiwork that gives Quiet Ones, directed by John Pogue, its occasional jolts.
Very loosely based on a true story, the film is largely set in a sprawling, dilapidated, isolated British country estate, which is where professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) moves Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke), his troubled young mental patient, after his research funding is pulled. With a Noble Prize as his goal, he’s trying to prove that the havoc wrought by the evil spirit supposedly haunting Jane is actually a manifestation of the young woman’s dark psychic energy. Naturally, he couldn’t be more wrong. Accompanying him on his mission are a couple of photogenic acolytes and a novice documentarian, only one of whom will be left standing after invisible hands bitch slap them, drag them up walls, and crack a number of bones.
Unfortunately, it’s all very familiar and somewhat tediously played out. Harris, as the increasingly mad professor with a grim back story, and Cooke, as the patient with an even grimmer past, are fine in their parts, but are ultimately defeated by formulaic story and plot twists, and pacing that too often drags.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 23, 2014