Hammer Films dominated the Gothic entertainment market throughout the 1950s-80s, before going dormant in the ’90s. Dutch producer John De Mol purchased the rights back in 2007, resurrecting the studio with such minor efforts as the vampire flick Beyond the Rave and the Hiliary Swank thriller The Resident. The company regained critical credibility with the remake Let Me In, before finding success at the box office with The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter).
Now, Hammer Films is working on The Quiet Ones, a paranormal thriller starring Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) and Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman) as a professor and student who use fringe science to create a supernatural entity. Hammer Films has released a featurette with set footage, plus commentary from company president Simon Oakes.
There’s not much here other than glimpses at the Harefield Grove and Merton College sets, along with quick shots of vintage automobiles and costumes used to create the 1970s setting. Most of the candle-lit interiors and antiquated buildings recall the classic Hammer films, though Matt Gant’s production design isn’t as grotesque and creepy as Kave Quinn’s for Woman in Black.
Story-wise, few details have been announced beyond how Harris’ character leads a dangerous experiment to create a poltergeist using “negative human energy.” Screenwriter John Pogue’s (also the director) oeuvre includes scripts for The Skulls and Ghost Ship, while Oren Moverman (Rampart), Craig Rosenberg (7500), and Tom de Ville (Urban Gothic) are all credited as having a hand in the writing process.
Harris as James Moriarty was a highlight in the otherwise routine Sherlock Holmes sequel, so it will be fun to see him as another sinister, bearded, professor in The Quiet Ones. People who only know Harris as the prim Lane Pryce on Mad Men are missing out, as his character resume includes Dr. Ashford in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Captain Mike in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and nefarious David Robert Jones on Fringe. He’s a great fit for the Hammer Horror universe, with his pointy eyebrows and very British demeanor.
Claflin may be a bigger name after he appears in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire next year, but there’s a chance The Quiet Ones will reach theaters before that happens. It is the Hammer Films visual hallmarks and melodramatic style that are the real selling points here, for those who prefer their ghost stories without any filmmaking gimmicks (a la found-footage in the Paranormal Activity franchise).
Source: Hammer Films