The Blackcoat’s Daughter
A deeply atmospheric and terrifying new horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter centers on Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton), two girls who are left alone at their prep school Bramford over winter break when their parents mysteriously fail to pick them up. While the girls experience increasingly strange and creepy occurrences at the isolated school, we cross cut to another story – that of Joan (Emma Roberts), a troubled young woman on the road, who, for some unknown reason, is determined to get to Bramford as fast as she can. As Joan gets closer to the school, Kat becomes plagued by progressively intense and horrifying visions, with Rose doing her best to help her new friend as she slips further and further into the grasp of an unseen evil force. The movie suspensefully builds to the moment when the two stories will finally intersect, setting the stage for a shocking and unforgettable climax.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter was originally titled ‘February’, and the first feature film from new-comer, Osgood Perkins, who manages to take a premise that sounds like a total snooze-fest and masterfully turn it into something profoundly engaging and extremely unnerving. The film also requires a patient viewer who doesn’t mind sitting through a slow burn movie watching as the intensity grows. The overall atmosphere is one of dread, no jump scares or thriller action scenes. I’ve seen many reviews bashing on this film for being too slow or too boring, but I have to say, those are the ones I find having a very small attention span anyway.
Yes, the film is a slow burn, however, kept it managed to keep me engaged the whole way through, and it was very well made. If director Osgood Perkins (son of Anthony Perkins) keeps this up, we might be referring to him as the new David Lynch of horror movies. It is beautifully filmed, with great acting, a very foreboding mood throughout had me mesmerized. It has a great, creepy undertone and I found it to be perfect to watch for a dark or stormy day. It does have a little foul language but nothing too out there, no nudity, and some minor, but very well done gore. This is not one of your typical jump-scare movies, it’s one that will fill you completely with dread.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter follows Kat and Rose, two girls at an all-female boarding school in Canada who are left alone during a school break when their parents fail to mysteriously pick them up. The winter break is approaching and all the girls at the school get picked up by their parents to spend a week at home. Except for Kat (Kiernan Shipka), a young girl who fears her parents might be dead when they have not shown up to pick her up, and Rose (Lucy Boynton), the older of the two girls who has lied to her parents because she wanted to spend the break alone at the school. As time goes on, Kat gets more and more worried about her parents and starts acting more and more strange. Meanwhile, a few towns over, another girl, Joan (Emma Roberts), has just escaped from a mental institution and seems to be on her way to the boarding school where the other two girls are.
Perkins fully masters the camera as he slowly pans across the scenery meticulously acknowledging every shot. From a long trailing shot down a dark and gloomy hallway to the swinging of a door as it mysteriously moves like it was in the wind. Every detail further keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait for the next scene. Kiernan nails the screen as she chillingly embodies the physical turmoil of an adolescent girl who always seems as if confused and unsure of herself. The casting is especially effective. Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka do fantastic jobs in their roles. As time goes on, and this film reaches a wider audience, I’m certain that it will begin to show up on the top ten lists of horror aficionados everywhere.
My new favorite horror film was 2015’s “The Witch”, I loved how the movie set a dark tone and continued to get darker and darker as the movie progressed. And I simply adore horror films that are dark & dreary as possible without ever really making you feel like things are going to get better. “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” does not really pack the punch the “The Witch” had but it is still a very creepy and interesting film with an extremely dark overtone. Overall, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a well-crafted horror that cleverly cuts between three characters while still juggling the fact that it is indeed a slow-burn horror well worth your time and money. One final comment, the film can really lose you if you are not truly invested during the last two acts, so keep alert.
Title: The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Genre: Horror, Drama, Thriller
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Lauren Holly
MPAA Rated: R
Directors: Osgood Perkins
Reviewed by: Mad Hatter
Our Rating: 4.0 /5
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