Thursday, October 30, 2014

"The Quiet Ones" (2014)

The latest Hammer Horror Film is loosely (very, very loosely) based on a parapsychology experiment from the seventies known as the Philip Experiment. In that case, scientists hypothesized that a ghost or a haunting could conceivably be “produced” by belief. They created a backstory for a spirit and then tried to “believe” it into existence. Supposedly, it worked, but who’s to say they didn’t just get a spiritual being to play along in their charade? There is no way to demonstrate that they created a phenomenon.

“The Quiet Ones” takes the basic idea, but applies it to possession. The scientist in this story is convinced that all psychological maladies, even parapsychological phenomenon that look like possession, are produced by the mind. His hope is to prove his hypothesis by curing one patient. Predictably, this story has him mistaken in his belief.

Unfortunately, the story fails to address the questions and implications of its premise in an interesting way. And, failing that route, it also fails to do anything scary or even thrilling with the plot. We never fear for the characters and are not given much reason to start fearing.

This is an experiment you can safely forego.

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