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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Video Beaverhausen: Hammer Horror's The Quiet Ones

From Hammer Films in the UK came The Quiet Ones, now on video.

Hammer's House of Horror had its heyday back in the 1950s and '60s, when the studio resurrected Universal Pictures' famous monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Mummy. The studio folded for a time in the '80s but resurrected itself in the 21st century and now exploits (masterfully, of course) the trend in horror flicks toward the paranormal.

The Quiet Ones' marketing, with its billboard artwork, was one of the most striking in some time. Unfortunately, the movie does not live up to its promotion.

It's Hammer, so it's handsomely mounted and quite sexy and smart. Only in Hammer horror might you hear the shouted out line: "Take your hands out of his trousers now!" Trash with class.

It's British, so many of the characters smoke their ciggies throughout, which might be the most shocking thing in this film. The acting and cinematography are superb. Well directed, the script has a professor, three students (two cute guys and a sexy blonde chick with a Dusty Springfield hairdo) from Oxford going out to a mansion in the country to scientifically study and document a case of  "demonic posession" in a young woman.

There's much success in building suspense, complete with occasional and effective use of faux-cinema verite camerawork inspired by Salem Witch Project (still trending in horror films). Tragically, though, the film fails to deliver the scares it promises. In fact, it was a bit of a yawn. Hammer Studio will have to do better than this to resurrect itself from the dead. For God's sake, Hammer, isn't the current vampire trend more up your alley? Fly with it.

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