First Look: Jared Harris is an Evil Professor in Hammer’s ‘The Quiet Ones’

Published 2 years ago by

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.

jared harris quiet ones First Look: Jared Harris is an Evil Professor in Hammers The Quiet Ones

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).

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Source: Hammer Films

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  1. The story sounds like Ken Russell’s “Gothic” but with less famous characters.

    Does he literally throw his hands in the air before he starts making the ghost, and ask “What could possibly go wrong?!!”
    I would pay to see that.

  2. Don’t forget, Jared Harris as the host of Inside Access from Mr. Deeds.

    • Ha, yeah, he does show up in the most unexpected places sometimes (see: Natural Born Killers, Lost in Space, etc.).

  3. This looks awesome. Jared Harris is a fantastic actor and it’s great to see Hammer making a comeback. This storyline screams vintage Hammer. And as a Quatermass devotee, I’m very curious to see Hammer’s upcoming resurrection of it. I’m a bit more of a fan of the original Nigel Kneale serials, but the Hammer Quatermass adaptations are all quite good in their own right.

  4. ditto on being happy to see a hammer renaissance. this one sounds promising too!

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