REVIEW: The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2017)

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2017, A24 Films/Unbroken Pictures/Paris Film/Traveling Picture Snow Company/Zed Filmworks

Director:
Oz Perkins
Producers:
Bryan Bertino
Adrienne Biddle
Alphonse Ghossen
Rob Paris
Robert Menzies
Writer:
Oz Perkins
Cinematography:
Julie Kirkwood
Editing:
Brian Ufberg

Cast:
Emma Roberts (Joan)
Kiernan Shipka (Kat)
Lucy Boynton (Rose)
James Remar (Bill)
Lauren Holly (Linda)
Emma Holden (Lizzy)
Peter J. Gray (Rick)

Oz Perkins, the son of legendary horror icon Anthony Perkins, makes his directorial debut with this very interesting thriller with a twist that truly must be seen to believe.

At the Bramford School in upstate New York, Kat awaits for her parents’ arrival just before winter break as does Rose, who harbors the possibility of being pregnant. When neither Kat or Rose’s parents show up, the headmaster allows the two to temporarily stay at the school under the supervision of the two nuns who are staying throughout the break. That night, Rose leaves to break the possible news to her boyfriend.

Joan is a young woman who is waiting at a bus terminal. She is hoping to go to the small town of Portsmith. She finds herself picked up by Bill and Linda, a couple who are heading towards Bramford. Meanwhile at the school, Rose begins to notice strange occurrences when she notices Kat’s behavior slowly changing. When Joan and Bill go to dinner, Bill reveals a story that she reminds him of his daughter who has passed away. Joan decides to go to Bramford with Bill and Linda. What will happen when these two stories find themselves intersecting at the school?

Actor Oz Perkins truly made the right decision in following in his famous father’s footsteps and picked terror in his first film as director. Having written the script, this thriller is quite interesting in that it depicts two stories that have a connection to a local boarding school in upstate New York during the winter break in February (the original title of the film is February to reflect this). Once the connection is revealed, it does bring a shock value that can be described as unheard of and that is meant in a good way.

Kiernan Shipka’s performance as freshman Kat is an interesting character. She looks like either the last person you would ever suspect or even the perfect victim of something sinister as she seems like a wallflower type. What is interesting is that her opening scene gives a sense of what to expect as she goes from innocent child to slowly becoming something neither she, her peers, or even the viewer would expect. Lucy Boynton’s Rose is the type who feels she must act out tough but her secret of possibly being pregnant makes her somewhat vulnerable and proves she is not completely as she seems to present herself.

Emma Roberts’ Joan is also quite interesting as she seems like someone who is trying to find her way. Introduced at a local bus terminal, we seen Joan having flashbacks at perhaps a mental institution and it is unclear whether she escaped or just was able to leave. James Remar and Lauren Holly bring a very strange enigma to the film as the parents of a former student who it seems cause Remar’s Bill to have quite an obsession and he feels his questions were never fully answered while Holly’s Linda seems to be the conscience of the two, revealing some truths along with Remar that will ultimately lead into one of the most shocking moments perhaps for this genre of film.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a really good directorial debut from Oz Perkins, who really delves into both suspense and terror with the cast churning out great performances and an ending that is truly unexpected and quite the shock. Definitely worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B+

A24 and DirecTV will release The Blackcoat’s Daughter in theaters and On Demand on March 31, 2017.

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