Don't Miss

Article – ‘The Quiet Ones’ & the Resurgence of ‘Smart’ Horror


Posted July 6, 2015 by

Full Article

The Resurgence of ‘Smart’ Horror

Since the beginning of the 2000’s the horror genre has become complacent. Remakes and new gorier films bombarded the market that was once an evenly distributed array of scary topics. I believe it was when we saw the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre that we saw this turn. A new form of a classic that added the biggest element we were going to see over the next 15 years – gore. We then got introduced to the Saw movies and then more remakes of classics like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th. I will credit Rob Zombie for making Halloween feel like the old in the sense of violence and gore, but these others ones needed to kick it up to keep this new generation’s attention. It worked for a while, but the generation has gotten smarter and it is time to get back to its roots, lose the gore, and scare the living daylights out of us.

The latest batch of horror flicks have made me feel like a kid again. I am only 28, but the movies a little bit before my childhood and during made up my mind of what I wanted out of a horror film. I like the cheap thrills that come out of nowhere. I like the cliches of knowing when something is about to pop out at me. I like the eerie feeling I get when I am at home thinking about what I just saw and wondering if it is in my house. I don’t need to see every tendon inside of a leg that was just hacked off with an ax. I don’t need to see a head physically removed from it’s body. That doesn’t scare me as much as it makes me squirm in my seat and hope it never happens. That is where my old friend, the horror genre that I once knew, has gone, but now it has returned to its old self.

I am going to mainly discuss a recent film I viewed – The Quiet Ones. The Quiet Ones follows a group of students and their professor as they experiment on a girl who has signs of telepathy. They want to harness the energy from her telepathy and destroy it and “help” others like her. Simple plot to begin with, but this story takes many turns that make you think and make you jump. This is a mashup of a traditional film and a found footage film. One of the students is in charge of simply filming the experiment and when the camera jumps to his perspective we are right there with them in the experiment. This movie is extremely smart in its filmmaking, its story and twists, and performances. Olivia Cooke pulls you in with her role. She makes you hate this girl and then makes you fall in love with her, when you know you shouldn’t be rooting for her. There have been many very good horror movies made recently. This one is smart – tough to put together a solid ‘smart’ horror film.

This film, along with others in recent history, makes the audience feel smart and engaged. Films are supposed to give you an escape from reality and bring you to a new dimension. When I go to a horror film, I want to be scared. I want to care about someone. I don’t need to see people chopped up, but if it’s there with a good story then I will accept it. The Quiet Ones draws you in when you get to the meat of the story. The beginning has you anticipating the end and has your guessing at every turn. I even had to do a bit of research to fully understand the ending. The movie was smarter than I was at one point. I sympathized with the main male character, I fell in love with the girl in the experiment, I hated the professor – I had all the emotions I needed to enjoy this movie. Not enough horror movies today take the time and the effort to make you care about a character. In Paranormal Activity, I didn’t care for the two main characters – they never drew me in to them. I wanted to get to the night vision and be terrified. I went to that movie to be creeped out and get a thrill – that was it. In the original Saw, I felt for those characters. I was completely drawn in and truly cared. The Saws that followed – I did not care one ounce – I wanted the puzzles. This fell in touch with the new generation, but lost it’s touch with the old. The old generation cared for these movies and then they became dumbed down – minus the last 5 minutes where there is a huge twist. Twists and gore oversaturated the market, but it’s starting to leave.

I am glad these movies are leaving and you should be too. I want to go see these movies with a purpose and be satisfied. The Quiet Ones did that immediately. It Follows has been making its rounds on “Best of” lists – That has not happened to a horror movie in a long time. These lists had more than just horror on them. We are seeing movies that make us believe in things we do not believe in. I do not believe in ghosts, but The Conjuring sure did make me believe in them for a few hours. Deliver Us From Evil did the same thing. These weren’t the smartest of movies, but they were deviating from previous formulas. We want to be scared again and we want the film to know how smart we are. We need a variety of topics to come back so we can be scared again. We don’t need remakes, we need new villains doing old things. Gore can come in, but it should not be the driving force. Ghosts, vampires, serial killers, zombies, werewolves – give us more, but give us a reason to appreciate them. Horror does not have to be a gimmick – The Quiet One proves this. Don’t make us jump and then make us laugh because we felt ridiculous jumping – make us jump and then clinch onto something or cover our eyes. Give us a twist that was in our face at one point, that we could have caught, but you were smarter than us. Give us that final moment scare before the credits. Bring us home to a house we are terrified to be in after what we just saw. Come home with us and be that fright. Horror – Just come home.


Read Similar Articles?…

[Review] – ‘Benny Loves Killing’
[Review] – ‘Nina Forever’
[Debate] – Slashers Vs Psychological Thrillers

Reviews | Joint Reviews | Articles | Debates | Promotions | Interviews |

Written by:

Drew and Champ

Drew Oliver
Alone In The Theater
Freelance Contributor

Join The Debate! Leave us a comment…


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.