I still can’t believe this movie hasn’t come out yet. Last May, I saw thriller The Blackcoat’s Daughter at the Seattle International Film Festival. Before that, it made the other festival stops, including a premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where it debuted as February. It feels like it’s been on the way forever, but it’s finally set to come out and A24 released a fantastic new trailer.
Part of why I’m surprised it’s taken so long for A24 to release The Blackcoat’s Daughter is because it’s received a fair amount of praise. When I saw it, I wasn’t too into it—it was okay, but didn’t do much for me—but a lot of folks rave about it.
It’s weird, because I feel like I appreciate it much more ten months after the fact than I did while watching the movie. Then again, that may be because this trailer is really good. Like, it’s so good it makes me want to rewatch a movie I know for a fact I didn’t care for. That’s the sign of a damn fine trailer.
Written and directed by Oz Perkins (son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins, writer/director of last year’s I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, and who I will always think of as an actor in Not Another Teen Movie), The Blackcoat’s Daughter has a strong cast. It stars Emma “Daughter of Eric” Roberts, Kiernan Shipka (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street), James Remar, and Lauren Holly, who all do good work.
There are things The Blackcoat’s Daughter does well. It has a grim, tense, Hitchcockian mood, and legitimately jarring bits of violence. And I have to give Perkins credit for trying to do something different with the narrative structure. Unfortunately, the ultimate outcome is brutally predictable, which removes much of the suspense (I’m beginning to remember why I didn’t like it). Then again, this didn’t seem to bother many other people, so maybe it won’t bother you.
Here’s the synopsis:
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.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter will be available for Direct TV customers starting on February 16 and gets a theatrical run starting on May 13 (similar to what happened with Dark Places, which I also didn't particularly enjoy).