The Blackcoat’s Daughter


Released March 31, 2017
Rated R – 1 hr 33 min
Directed by Osgood Perkins
Starring Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boyntan, James Remar

It’s winter break at a stuffy Catholic girls school and two girls, Kat and Rose (Kiernan Shipka & Lucy Boyntan) are left behind to wait for their parents who did not arrive to pick them up. As the hours stretch into the following day, Kat’s increasingly odd behavior begins to trouble Rose. Meanwhile, Joan, an escaped mental patient, is determined to reach the school for unknown reasons.

This is a moody and contemplative film as Daughter relishes in long and lingering shots, considerable stretches without dialogue, and a haunting score to really emphasize a dark and ominous atmosphere. Fast-paced, it isn’t.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter wants to weave you a mystery, where you’re never sure what’s going to happen or where the story is going to go next. This is a horror film, so it’s not going to be 90 minutes of polite and civil behavior, but at the onset, it isn’t clear at all how it’s making its way to the action. However, this is one of those manufactured mysteries where everything would be perfectly straightforward if not obscured by the sequence of events and key details hidden by camera angles and cuts, not to be revealed until later with flashbacks. It’s a frustrating and groan-inducing presentation that subtracts from an otherwise admirable debut feature from writer/director Osgood Perkins, son of Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins.

Don’t get me wrong – Daughter is effectively creepy when it’s trying to be. It doesn’t give its three young leads a whole lot to do, but they do well with what they got. The most notable performances are from James Remar and Lauren Holly, a couple who pick up the unpredictable Joan as she treks toward the school with her secret agenda. Certainly worth a watch for fans of the slowburn flavor of scary movie.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter gets a