A ship hanging in the distance. That’s all we see of the alien threat that has brought Earth to its knees in The Quiet Hour. It’s a constant threat but not the one that steps into the life of Sarah Connolly (Dakota Blue Richards) and her blind brother Tom (Jack McMullen). Instead, they have Jude (Karl Davies), the mysterious man who has broken into their farm while running away from a band of shadowy figures. The question is, do they trust him?
The Quiet Hour is an alien invasion movie without the invasion. Instead, it turns to the human characters to create its enemies, and for the most part, it’s successful. For an hour every day, the aliens go quiet allowing the remaining members of humanity to move around with freedom and act out a particularly malicious chess game as they battle for resources.
Which means that The Quiet Hour relies a lot on its ability to build tension. We spend most of the film sitting in Tom and Sarah’s farmhouse, trying to determine whether Jude is a blessing or a curse for these young siblings. Those periods pull off that brittle atmosphere. There’s the constant threat of the outside world bearing down on the walls, and Jude’s uncertain presence inside them adds an extra spice to proceedings.
It’s a shame then that the final act, which forces them to leave the farmhouse, sees that disintegrate. The attempts at twists and turns fall flat, and some dodgy acting ultimately sees it descend into cliche. While Richards holds up her end of the bargain, Davies never feels quite comfortable in his role, and it’s hard to buy him as the character he turns out to be.
Despite that, The Quiet Hour succeeds in being an interesting film. Made for a 10p mix-up and an ice cream Stéphanie Joalland manages to capture the feeling of a world where you can never quite be comfortable. Where the constant temptation is to curl up in a ball and accept defeat. It may fall at the final hurdle, but the journey is worth the admission.
Verdict: Hall of Fame