The Quiet Ones (2014) – movie review


The Quiet Ones (2014)

I like the analytical approach toward parapsychology taken by the main character in this film. Dr. Coupland contends that all ghostly activity is the byproduct of living people with strong telekinetic powers. Paranormal activity is not from the great beyond but created in the subconscious of a person and manifested upon the physical world. He intends to prove his theory with experimentation and documentation of his prime test The-Quiet-Ones-Movie-Postersubject, Jane. He ‘rescued’ her from the barbaric grip of the mental healthcare industry. The doctor and a small team of students hole-up in an abandoned countryside home, away from the prying eyes of Oxford’s administrators. With scientific monitoring equipment, they will prove Dr. Coupland’s theory.

With the ‘set-up’ of the camera-man documenting the event, you may get the impression that this is a found footage film. It’s not. Director, John Pogue, limited the 1st person/camera POV to a few well-placed scenes that add to the creepiness of the film. Most of the film is portrayed in traditional style.

The film is an intellectual tug-o-war that successfully has the viewer taking sides on the professor’s theory, then flipping opinion back and forth as events escalate. This is mostly atmospheric horror following a cycle of building creepy tension then releasing it. It’s effective in that aspect. The team spend the day discussing the case but when night falls and the team members sit up alone (in shifts) watching Jane’s behavior on monitors, the atmosphere tenses up considerably. Jane speaks of a malevolent presence named ‘Evey’ and her intensions to do bad things. Coupland argues that ‘Evey’ is just a part of Jane’s subconscious and they will be able to extract that negative energy to cure Jane of her ailment.

There are some good plot twists as creepy Jane (played by Olivia Cooke) manipulates the characters with her words and turns them against each other. I wouldn’t consider this film a ‘classic’ but it’s a good watch on a quiet night, for eerie malevolent tension and some good jump scares. It’s original in concept and doesn’t contain the usual Hollywood clichés; I appreciate that. This is a Hammer film Production. Hammer have been releasing a steady stream of interesting films since their re-launch. It is loosely based on a real event known as the Philip Experiment, conducted in Toronto in 1972.

Creepy little film that was well-acted and original in concept, worth a watch.

I give it 3.9 outta’ 5, on the creepy, dark-haired, goth-girl scale of paranormal psycho-haunt films.


My Top 5 Found Footage Films, What’s Yours?

cloverfield pic 3a
My Top 5 Found Footage Films, What’s Yours?

Found footage, mockumentaries, reality movies, POV films, whatever you want to call them, are a style of filmmaking that will always be here. They are presented with most of the film and storytelling shown through the camera lens from one (or more) of the characters or by surveillance footage from multiple sources. Often the footage is found after the fact, when the characters are presumed missing or dead and the footage/movie is played back for the audience. Sometimes it is not “found” but being seen in real time. Sometimes they are set up as a news-story gone wrong. The success of 1999’s The Blair Witch Project birthed the modern popularity of FF films. There were a few previous to that date, most notably, Cannibal Holocaust, but the availability of affordable digital video cameras in recent years makes films like this more plausible. They are sometimes marketed as ‘true’ or ‘actual footage’ and true stories.

Like them or hate them, they are a permanent fixture in the horror movie genre. Some directors can make better FF films than others. Some of the films are total garbage. But get used to seeing them, they are not going to be removed from the film industry’s repertoire any time soon.

These are my Top 5 Found Footage/ Mock-documentary horror/sci-fi films.

Quarantine poster1) Quarantine / REC. (2008/2007)REC movie poster
Yes, I list these both together because, although they are basically the same movie, there are parts of both that make me like them for different reasons. If I had to pick just one, I would pick Quarantine, mainly because I don’t have to read the subtitles and because I like Jennifer Carpenter in this role. There are a few scenes that I like better in the Ameri-version, also. The scene with the CDC inspecting the bodies in the back room was one that I thought ramped up the tension more in the American version than the Spanish version.

the last exorcism movie poster2) The Last Exorcism (2010)
I know there’s a split in opinion about this one but I think the character of Preacher, Marcus Cotton, was fleshed out nicely and was the main reason I liked the film. The main story is about the preacher, not the exorcism and the girl.  There are some creepy as hell parts at the farmhouse and the realization of Cotton, about what is going on, was a well-planned mystery. I even like the ending and if you think of the film as a story about Cotton, it makes perfect sense. The sequel was terrible. Avoid it like the plague. See my full review, here: The Last Exorcism

cloverfield poster3) Cloverfield (2008)
The fact that this is a giant monster movie but completely filmed from street level is what makes this film so great. You never get a clear view of what the whole monster looks like and I think that works well for this movie. The going away party/drama at the start of the film is so dull, it feels like real life. Just when you think you can’t take no more, the sh*t hits the fan. That scene with the head of the Statue of Liberty rocketing over the character’s heads and crashing into the street behind them is jaw dropping. A couple of scenes may remind you of 911. I think sometimes it is good to be reminded. The characters feel real and in turn the situation feels real – you can’t help but root for the small band of friends to survive. More on Cloverfield here: Cloverfield

apt 143 pic 14) Apartment 143 (2011)
4th place was a toss up between this and Paranormal Activity. I think Apartment 143 won solely because it didn’t have a line of sequels, therefore, we didn’t see the same gags repeated four times. Strange things happen in a small apartment. A single father struggles to raise two children. His daughter hates him and we slowly learn the reason for such disgust. Watch it around Halloween with the lights off. Read my full review here: Apartment 143

Paranormal Activity cover5) Paranormal Activity (2009)
The 1st of the series is no doubt the best. Small nuances in their apartment cause Micah and Katie to set up surveillance cameras in their home. What the lens captures escalates into terrifying footage. Some of the creepiest parts are Katie getting up in the middle of the night and just standing there, staring at the bed. The film realistically follows how a paranormal event progresses, starting off with very minor incidents. It successfully creates atmosphere and tension. The dialogue between the couple sounds natural adding to the believability of the film.

I would consider the Top 5 as ‘5 star’ rating in the subcategory of FF films.

(0 stars = unwatchable, 3 stars = good movie, 5 stars = best in class)

Considerations and my star ratings (0-5)

The Bay – 4 stars
As Above, So Below – 4 stars
Chronicle 3 stars
The Possession of Michael King – 2.5 stars
Alien Abduction – 3.5 stars

Apollo 18- 4 stars
The Fourth Kind– 4 stars
The Blair Witch Project- 1 stars
Buried Alive – 3 stars
Legend of Boggy Creek- 0 stars
Paranormal Activity 2- 2 stars
Paranormal Activity 3- 4 stars
Paranormal Activity 4– 1 stars
The Devil Inside- 1 stars
Rec. 2- 4 stars
Diary of the Dead- 3 stars
Death of a Ghost Hunter– 1 stars
Monsters  – 3 stars
Monster- 1 stars
Evil Things- 0 stars
The Troll Hunter– 4 stars
Grave Encounters– 3 stars
Grave Encounters 2- 1 stars
VHS 3 stars
VHS II – 4 stars
VHS Viral – 2.5 stars
Behind the Mask:the Rise of Leslie Vernon– 4 stars
Hollow  – 0 stars
The Last Horror Movie- 2 stars
Cannibal Holocaust- 3 stars
The Curse- —
The Frankenstein Theory- 1 star
The Dinosaur Project- 0 stars
The Last Exorcism part II -0 stars
The Amityville Haunting– 0 stars
Paranormal Entity- 0 stars
Amber Alert- —-
District 9- 3 stars
Lake Mungo – ——
The Tunnel – ——
Chernobyl Diaries – ——
Greystone Park- —–
In Search of Lovecraft – 0 stars
Noroi – —–
Ghostwatch – —–

If I missed anything please let me know…

Still want to see:
The Poughkeepsie Tapes
War of the Worlds, the True Story

Television Mockumentaries:
Mermaids: The Body Found (2012) Discovery Channel
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives (2013) Discovery Channel

What’s Your Top 5 Found Footage films?
List them below in the comments

Ouija boards & Witchboards – fact or fiction – part I


 Ouija Boards – fact or fiction

I recently purchased the movie Witchboard on DVD. It is a ghost/possession movie from 1986 starring, Tawny Kitaen. While the film is decent, though not as good as I had remembered, there was a very interesting element to this DVD; it came with a mini Witch Board insert-sleeve. The glossy cardboard sleeve has the traditional Ouija Board markings and design. Perforated edges can be removed, to make it dimensionally proportioned. One end contains a pop-out planchette to use with the board.

On the opposite side of this Ouija Board is the traditional film info; scene listings, credits, running time, etc. I have no intention of using this novelty. I will not pop-out the planchette or break-off its ends for aesthetic reasons. It is promotional items like this, which become collectible.


There is another reason why I do not pop-out that planchette, lay it upon the board and ask questions of the mystical world beyond. I do not need the movie Witchboard, Paranormal Activity, or The Exorcist to tell me of the potential dangers. I had learned a long time ago that these boards, although some are even manufactured by Hasbro, are not ‘games’ at all. I’ve had experiences with Ouija Boards, myself.

Sure, some of the things that have occurred could be rationalized as overactive imagination or subconscious knowledge coming to the surface of conscious thought. However, there are always a few things that leave a big fat question-mark, long after the Ouija Board is gone. Of those reading this, half of you are scoffing and half of you know exactly what I am talking about. Many people have had experiences with these ‘games’ and none of the experiences have a happy finale. In the end, it is always, “I have to get rid of this damn thing!”


A recurring aspect of Ouija Board phenomenon is the fact that, a board, once attached to a person that uses it, is not so easy to get rid of. It usually takes several attempts to dispose of the game. Somehow, the board always seems to fall out of the garbage pail, and not taken away by the garbage men. It is then returned to the house by another family member or neighbor, who doesn’t even know your original intention was to get rid of the accursed board to begin with. So, it winds up back in your home at the oddest time, sitting there on the kitchen table or bedroom desk, as your jaw goes slack and eyes go wide with terror.

At a later date I will relay a couple of past experiences.

For now, I would like you to indulge me with an experiment. Make sure the room is quiet. Shut off any music and the TV in the background. Make sure you do this at a time when no one will disturb you. Now, look at the computer keyboard you type on. It resembles a Witch board, doesn’t it? The only things missing are Yes/No and Goodbye. What I want you to do is open up a simple word-processing program. ‘Word’ is too complicated. Open up notepad. Click on the white page and set your cursor so it is ready to type. Do not type anything. Looking at the keyboard, place your fingers on the plastic area directly under the keys of the keyboard. Try to get all five fingers touching the plastic. Now, I want you to clear your mind of all thoughts. All worries, appointments, wants and needs, aspirations – clear them all out. Gone. Take a few deep breaths. Relax. Wait a few more moments in meditation.

Now, ask the all important question, “Is anybody out there?”

For the third night in a row, without any clicks of the keys, the word ‘hello’ has appeared on my screen.

Side note: I would suggest shutting down your computer at night, before bed. Another note, the word count in this blog came to 666 words,  strange.
Sleep well, my friends.