While the legendary horror film studio Hammer Films rose to prominence in the 1970s thanks to established movie monsters and a keen eye for practical effects, the studio’s recent resurgence is much more focused on the ghostly side of the supernatural spectrum. Their upcoming release The Quiet Ones looks like it might inject a little bit of life into this staling sub-genre, as evidenced by the exciting trailer seen above. As they say, it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch…
This trailer, via ComingSoon, is absolutely filled with the shadowy cinematography and jump scares that have permeated these horror films for ages, but I think the central hook is interesting, and I happen to enjoy this brand of faux-period aesthetic being utilized. Like Hammer’s The Woman in Black, the story will probably be par for the course, yet decorated in a pleasing package. We take what we can get sometimes.
Jared Harris (Mad Men) stars as an Oxford University physics professor who gathers a group of students to perform an experiment wherein they attempt to create a poltergeist around a withdrawn young woman (Olivia Cooke) whose dark secrets will no doubt factor heavily into the spooky goings-on that plague this research team once their attempts are successful, resulting in branded skin, haunted paintings, and beds where assumed blood stains are ghost portals. It makes washing the sheets a little harder, but when a giant slinky snake-looking thing is flying out of one’s throat, laundry is the last thing on the mind.
I’m not sure where all the old home movies and things come into the story, but I’m a sucker for mocked-up old video. I also like the fact that the team is using a camera to record their actions, and that the first-person point of view is used without this having to be a full-fledged found footage movie. It’s like directors forgot how that works. Director John Pogue’s first film was Quarantine 2: Terminal, the rare direct-to-video film that was better than its mass release predecessor, which was just an uninspired English remake of the neo-classic Spanish thriller [REC]. Part of that success was Pogue completely dropping the found footage aspect used in the first film and telling a completely original story. (Not the best story, but still.)
One of Pogue’s two co-writers, Oren Moverman, is new to the horror game, having written and directed the heady dramas The Messenger and Rampart, as well as co-writing the Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There.. The other writer, Craig Rosenberg, penned the completely forgettable horror The Uninvited, so hopefully his opinions were countered by better ideas. Zing!
The Quiet Ones also stars Erin Richards (Breaking In), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Stealaway), Max Pirkis (Rome), Laurie Calvert (Episodes) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). I’m pretty sure Lionsgate is hoping even a small percentage of Claflin’s fanbase who watched him in Catching Fire will show up in droves whenever they release the film on April 25.