[Screen It]


(2014) (Jared Harris, Sam Claflin) (PG-13)

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Horror: In 1974 England, an Oxford professor and his three students attempt to "cure" a disturbed young woman who may or may not be possessed by a demon.
At Oxford University in 1974, Professor Joseph Coupland (JARED HARRIS) is convinced he can "cure" a disturbed, young woman named Jane Harper (OLIVIA COOKE), who may or may not be possessed by an ancient demon. Joseph assembles three graduate students to help him conduct his experiments on Jane in secret. This garners them the campus nickname of "The Quiet Ones." Before long, the university is tired of the rumors and lack of results and pulls Joseph's funding.

Joseph convinces the trio to continue their work at a distant mansion in the English countryside. They include camera operator Brian (SAM CLAFLIN), a good-hearted man trying to figure out what he believes; Harry (RORY FLECK-BYRNE), a science whiz up on the latest audio and visual technology; and Krissi (ERIN RICHARDS), a promiscuous research assistant having sexual relations with both Joseph and Harry.

Brian eventually becomes attracted to Jane, which adds considerable tension within the team. Paranormal attacks involving an entity Jane calls "Evie" become more frequent, and Joseph becomes more and more determined to find a scientific explanation and solution. Brian, though, does some research on his own and uncovers a frightening revelation that goes back centuries.

OUR TAKE: 4.5 out of 10
For films not screened for the reviewing press, we only provide a few paragraphs of critical analysis.

"The Quiet Ones" is about 80 minutes of harsh, shrill repetitive jump scares ... and about 15 minutes of actual story. After a while, I just got tired of being startled. I became numb to the director's manipulations and just wanted him to "get on with already!" Jared Harris stars as an Oxford professor whose latest "experiment" -- to cure Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke), a mentally unhinged young woman who may or may not be possessed by a demon -- has lost the funding and support of the university. So, he takes his student-research team consisting of goodhearted camera operator Brian (Sam Claflin), snarky science whiz Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne), and promiscuous assistant Krissi (Erin Richards) out to the British countryside to continue their project.

Unfortunately, director John Pogue has too little interest in exploring these different personalities under pressure and is instead almost obsessively fixated on things that not only go bump in the night, but go bump in the night so loudly that they'll darn-near puncture your eardrums. When the time comes to explain just what the malevolent force is behind all those harsh sounds and power surges, the explanation literally takes up about 90 seconds of screen time and then it's on to the next loud bang of a door or surprise pop-smash of a light bulb. This one had potential. I especially enjoyed its 1974 period trappings and the performances of Harris and Cooke. But, in the end, it barely scares up a 4.5 out of 10. (T. Durgin)

Reviewed April 24, 2014 / Posted April 25, 2014

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