I love horror movies that go outside the box of what we expect from a genre story and make you think – especially ones that deliver a unique spooky tale that provides more than nudity, cheap kills, and the run of the mill bad guy. The trailer for The Blackcoat’s Daughter gave me chills and looked promising, but did the movie itself deliver?
Distributed by A24, The Blackcoat’s Daughter was directed and written by Oz Perkins (Secretary, Dead and Breakfast). The film is a horror thriller with a dark and unusual storyline that comes together perfectly with an all-star cast including Kiernan Shipka (Flowers in the Attic, Carriers), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story, Nerve), Lauren Holly (Dumb and Dumber, Ultra Low), Lucy Boynton (Rebel in the Rye, Don’t Knock Twice), and James Remar (The Warriors, Dexter).
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 unknown reasons, 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.
Perkins proves that he has no problem delivering a dark and dreary story that is relentlessly suffocating and yet full of wonder. If you go into it without knowing the synopsis at all, you would never expect all of the bizarre events that continuously unfold throughout the film. I would consider it a psychological thriller mixed with supernatural elements, a film that slowly builds up tension and then, when you least expect it, the film gives you a total mind fuck experience. The question remains: is this really happening or is it all in her head? I love that the end is left up for interpretation, yet also pretty clear, and stays with you long after the film is over.
All of the cast in The Blackcoat’s Daughter executed their characters beautifully. The film had a mix of old and new talent and they blended well together. Boynton is lovely and delivers an award winning performance as a supportive friend. I think we will continue to see great things from her and hopefully she continues her stride in horror films as well since her role in Don’t Knock Twice was equally phenomenal.
However, Shipka and Roberts were the cream of the crop in The Blackcoat’s Daughter. They both gave intensely raw and hauntingly cringeworthy performances that were quite impressive. Each girl is going through a rough and questionable time in their lives and their characters’ transformations are slow and steady, yet will smack you in the face towards the end, leaving a lasting hand print. Believe me when I say that these ladies know how to bring an emotional and horrifying story to life.
Last but not least, I loved the subtle use of special effects. Although not much was needed for this film, certain scenes did benefit greatly from it and really instilled that creepy factor that we all love. Plus the eerily beautiful musical score plays well with the different tones and unsettling atmosphere throughout the film.
I love seeing a female driven film that relies solely on sensational acting and perfect atmosphere to sell a story. The Blackcoat’s Daughter doesn’t scream horror in the traditional sense, but everything about the film, from the minor scenes to the major ones, is unsettling. If you love a darker story that doesn’t rush into the plot line too fast but instead takes its time to build tension and raw emotion, then this one is for you. A24 and DirecTV will be releasing The Blackcoat’s Daughter in theaters and On Demand March 31, 2017 – in which you’ll be able to discover for yourself the true darkness within this horror thriller. Enjoy and happy haunting!