The ‘Quite Ones’ is a film which spends its time in a kind of purgatory where it is neither terribly good nor terribly bad but simply ends in making you feel faintly unsatisfied. It centres around a camera man called Brian Mcneil (Sam Calflin) who joins a research team at Oxford attempting to prove a theory by conducting dubious but conveniently dramatic experiments on a mentally disturbed girl called Jane. As with the tropes of this genre things go awry quickly with the situation becoming increasingly hostile, not to mention loud and conducive to things going bang suddenly.
In what is a somewhat interesting premise the theory in question already invokes the paranormal to an extent, Professor Coupland (Jared Harris) explains that the spooky goings on are a product of a) Jane possessing psychic powers and b) Jane having psychological trauma that causes her to invent a spirit called Evey who makes all the scary stuff happen.
This however is the only really original thing about the ‘Quite Ones’. The film squanders the opportunity to play around with the audience by not building any mystery surrounding the origin of the paranormal activity. For the first 2/3rds of the film it’s the professor that’s right, then it is suddenly revealed it’s an evil demon after all because Brian stumbles over the right McGuffins.
The lacklustre narrative is not helped by all of the characters lacking any substantive personality, none are given any significant back story or identifiable traits which makes them difficult to relate to or care about. Around a third of the way in sexual tension between some of the characters is brought into play but this does little to develop them or raise interest in the plot.
The acting is generally solid along with the special effects. The soundtrack is a collection of appropriate thumping drums and screechy static while the cinematography is well done which makes the film at least interesting to look at.
Throughout the film there are some well-placed jump scares and a few sections do build genuine amounts of tension but these don’t make up for it’s flaws. Fundamentally it is a mostly competent film whose only remarkable feature is how formulaic and uninteresting it becomes.