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THE QUIET ONES (2014) Jared Harris, Sam Clafin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Laurie Calvert. Directed by John Pogue

It's a ironic that a movie called "The Quiet Ones" uses sound effects turned up to an ear-piercing level to try and scare you. I call it the 'boo' factor. Do you remember as a kid hiding from someone and waiting for them to walk by so you could yell "boo!"? The louder you yelled the higher they jumped. Director John Pogue uses this cheap tactic to elicit scares from the audience since there aren't any real frights in the film.

The movie which is "inspired" by true events, takes place in 1974. Oxford University Professor Joseph Coupland (played by Mad Men's Jared Harris) has pulled test subject Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke from Bates Motel) out of a mental asylum to prove that all the paranormal occurrences surrounding her past have been conjured up by her mind. When the university cuts funding to Coupland's program he rents a creepy old mansion in the countryside to continue conducting the experiments on Jane, who sees the professor as a lifesaver because he pulled her out of the mental institution to try and cure her.

The setup is promising and both Harris and Cooke are really good. The old mansion in the English countryside combined with the types of paranormal experiments they are conducting, hint at the 1973 British horror classic "The Legend Of Hell House" but unfortunately there are no real scares in the film which comes to us from the now revived Hammer Film Productions, a legendary studio that made hundreds of horror films from the 50's through the 70's. All the right elements are in place, an eerie setting, a creepy old doll, satanic symbols, and a good cast, but director John Pogue doesn't fully utilize them, choosing instead to use cheap tactics and CGI effects to produce artificial scares.

( 2 stars)

reviewed April 24, 2014