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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

Things that go bump in the Oxonian night

Someday someone will once again make horror movies without found footage or demonically possessed women. And maybe with coherent plots. “The Quiet Ones,” a laughable farrago from director John Pogue and a committee of screenwriters (talk about not being on the same page), does not raise hopes of that happening soon. Nor does it bode well for the film’s studio, the supposed rebirth of the revered Hammer Films.

Based on a true story (aren’t they all), this takes place in 1974 at Oxford University (you can tell it’s the ’70s because everyone smokes), where Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris), a researcher in abnormal psychology, attempts to extract the craziness from Jane Harper (Olivia Cooke), a disturbed young woman. He hopes to materialize her pathology, bottle it in some way, and thus cure the world of mental illness (this was before Prozac). Jane, in short, is a guinea pig, donated to Coupland by the insane asylum where she was an incurable patient.

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