Release Date: TBA.
Written by: Oz Perkins.
Directed by: Oz Perkins.
Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Emma Roberts, Lucy Boynton, James Remar, and Lauren Holly.
Every year, there's one or two Horror movies that everyone hails as being "transcendent" or "genre changing," or something to that effect. Whatever the tag-line that gets attached to them, movies like It Follows, The Babadook, Cabin in the Woods, You're Next, and We Are Still Here end up being critical darlings, and find themselves on everyone's Must See list.
So far this year, the critical darlings seem to be The Witch, Green Room, and The Invitation. All three are great flicks in their own right, and they each deliver their own brand of chills, but I'm going to throw The Blackcoat's Daughter into that mix and say that it's every bit as good as those other movies. In fact, it very well could be better.
*The Blackcoat's Daughter (February) was supposed to be released today as an exclusive on DirecTV. It's not on DirectTV, and there has been absolutely no promotion or mention of the release by A24 (its distribution company), DirecTV, or on the film's Twitter or Facebook pages, so at this point we have to assume that its release date has been moved. IMDB has it listed as coming out on Sept. 30th in the U.S., so maybe we'll see it some time this fall. We've been sitting on the review since two of us caught a screening at the CCFF back in late May (because I wanted it to coincide with it's DirecTV release), but there's no point in waiting until September to post it.
The Blackcoat's Daughter (formerly titled February), without ruining it for the uninitiated, so we're going to have to be as vague as possible here.
This is a movie about three girls, two of whom are stranded at their prep school over winter break, and one who is desperately trying to get to the school herself. One of the stranded girls, Kat, fears her parents dead, and withdraws inward to cope; while the other, Rose, is terrified that she might be pregnant, and is even more terrified oh how creepy Kat is. As for the girl who is making her way toward Bramford Prep, Joan, well she's obviously been through something traumatic, and yet she stays focused on her goal.
It's also about Satan, who appears as a shadowy bunny-like figure, intent on possessing one (or more) of the girl's souls.
I know that basically tells you nothing, but that's good. You need to see this one as uninformed as possible. In fact, don't even watch the trailer if you can help it.
|WHO WAS PHONE?|
The Blackcoat's Daughter is as much about loss as it is anything else, and the way that it handles the subject is superb. The movie twists and turns around its three main characters (who are all related in some obscure way) in quiet fashion, and brings them all together in the end in pretty shocking, and dare we say fresh, way. I'd really love to talk about that ending, and what it meant for the movie as a whole, but it would kill the entire thing, and it would be a shame for you to not experience that build-up and resolution for yourselves.
I guess it's safe to say that loss is the key word here; some of it creepy, all of it tragic.
|"NO I HAVEN'T CHECKED THE CHILDREN. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?"|
This is director Oz Perkins' debut feature behind the camera, and it's about as impressive as a first movie can be. Horror is obviously in his blood (he's the son of Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins), and If this is the type of thing that we can expect from him as his career moves forward, which it most certainly will, then we're in for some good times.
I'm not sure who truly stole the show in this one; Kiernan Shipka or Emma Roberts. Both ladies played their tortured parts equally well, and their performances took an already great movie to the next level. Lucy Boynton was on top of her game too, even if her character wasn't quite as prevalent. Even Lauren Holly and James Remar seemed to dig deep for this one, although with James Remar being one of the best character actors ever, that's really no surprise.
|THIS IS NO TIME TO BE PLAYING BLOODY MARY!|
|SHE'S COME A LONG WAY SINCE MAD MEN.|
|WAS IT HER?|
|IT'S ONLY A HAND WOUND. RUN!|
|CREEPY, NOT SEXY.|
|OH, SHE KNOWS. SHE KNOWS.|
This was a near-perfect movie-watching experience for us, and you should absoloutly check it out when you get the chance.
The Blackcoat's Daughter was originally scheduled to be in limited theaters and on DirecTV now, but it looks as if its release has been delayed. We'll keep you posted.
Emma Roberts is fast becoming one of our favorite Scream Queens, pun intended.