The Quiet Ones appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image seemed strong.
Overall definition seemed good, with only a little softness along the way. Any instances of softness stayed minor and created no real distractions. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws remained absent – at least in terms of “real” print flaws. The fake “archival footage” came with specks and marks, but because those were intentional, I didn’t count them against the transfer.
As one might expect, the film opted for a stylized palette and tended toward a golden impression or teal. Within those choices, the colors appeared positive. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows showed appropriate delineation. I felt pleased with the transfer
The film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack came with a fair amount of sonic pizzazz. Scare scenes added some spark and atmosphere contributed some involving material. These gave the mix chances for active use of the five speakers and it created a broad, engaging spectrum.
One complaint: the decision to continue with the standard 5.1 sound design even when the movie offered “archival footage”. As mentioned earlier, the film occasionally provided material supposedly shot by the characters; to “age” these shots, they came with a degraded quality.
That made sense, but the choice to provide multichannel audio along with the “archival footage” didn’t. It seemed confusing to get sound from the sides/rears during the bits supposedly shot by the movie’s characters. In fact, the first time this happened, I thought the audio intended to reflect the screening room in which the characters watched their work; it took me a minute to realize the sound encompassed the actual on-screen material. The soundtrack would’ve worked better and made more sense if it’d gone mono during those moments.
Audio quality was solid. Effects came across as accurate and concise, and speech seemed natural and crisp. Music was lush and full as well. Despite my dissatisfaction with some sound design choices, this was usually a good mix.
Despite the film’s low profile, The Quiet Ones comes with a pretty good set of extras. These launch with an audio commentary from director/co-writer John Pogue and producer Tobin Armburst. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at sets and locations, cinematography and audio, visual design, costumes and period details, cast and performances, story/character areas, and connected subjects.
Overall, this becomes a satisfying commentary. I would like information about the real-life case that inspired the story, but the track covers other bases in a pleasing manner. The participants interact well and turn this into an informative chat.
Next comes a documentary called Welcome to the Experiment. In this 34-minute, 53-second piece, we hear from Pogue, Armnbrust, producers Ben Holden and Simon Oakes, screenwriter Tom DeVille, director of photography Matyas Erdely, production designer Matthew Gant, and actors Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne and Olivia Cooke.
We learn about the movie’s origins and development, the story behind the tale and script/character areas, cast and performances, genres and cinematic styles, sets and locations, production design and period details, sound and music, effects and related topics. “Welcome” can be a little fluffy but it covers a good array of subjects. It acts as a nice complement to the commentary and provides a mix of useful details across its running time.
The eight-minute, 24-second An Ominous Opening offers notes from Pogue and main title designer Aaron Becker. The featurette looks at aspect of the movie’s title sequence. “Ominous” gets into the credit segment in an involving manner.
Seven Deleted Scenes go for 12 minutes, 16 seconds. In these, we tend toward moments with secondary characters as well as some expository bits. Some of the latter actually prove to be fairly valuable, as they fill in some dots left unclear by the feature film. The others tend to feel more superfluous, such as when we learn about Coupland’s background; this seems moderately interesting but not especially important.
We also find three minutes, 29 seconds of Outtakes. This reel shows standard blooper reel material, with plenty of goofs and giggles. Nothing especially enjoyable evolves.
The disc opens with ads for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Divergent, The Possession and Now You See Me. No trailer for Quiet Ones appears here.
While not a bad horror film, The Quiet Ones seems too “by the numbers” to become better than average. It delivers occasional effective moments but relies on too many genre tropes to take flight. The Blu-ray comes with positive picture and audio as well as a mostly good selection of bonus materials. Expect a pretty average horror movie here.