The Blackcoat's Daughter

08/17/2017 16:50

Film: The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Year: 2015

Director: Oz Perkins

Writer: Oz Perkins

Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton

 

Review:

This film begins with a young lady having what we learn to be a dream; she is played by Kiernan Shipka. Shipka dreams that there is a crashed car and what she believes to be her father tells her that her mother is dead. She wakes up and crosses a day off her calendar. It is February and her parents are supposed to be coming the following day to get her. She goes to see a priest, played by Greg Ellwand. He tells her that he has to go out of town and will miss her performance. Shipka seems to be off during this whole interaction.

We then meet another young lady at this school; she is played by Lucy Boynton. Boynton believes that she is pregnant. She tells her friend about it and she is going to abort it.

The next day is supposed to be the last day and break is starting. Shipka performs playing piano and singing. Her parents do not show up. She doesn’t have a clue where they are and the headmaster tries to call them. He is played by Peter James Haworth. He believes that they got their days mixed up and will be there soon. Boynton’s parents didn’t show either. She claims that her parents also messed up when they were supposed to arrive and that they will be there by Friday. Haworth isn’t happy, but will allow both of them to stay until Friday at the school. There are two women that work at the school who will watch over them, played by Elana Krausz and Heather Tod Mitchell. Haworth also wants Boynton is watch over Shipka. She does tell Shipka that there are rumors those that run the school worship the devil.

She on the other hand isn’t having it and goes out that night with her boyfriend; he is played by Peter J. Gray. When she returns, she learns that there is just something not right about Shipka.

There is also another story that going on. Emma Roberts is at a bus station. She goes into the bathroom and removes a wristband from a hospital. She takes a map and we see that she looks at the town of Bramford, where the school is located. She wants to go to the next town over. She is waiting for the bus when a man approaches her; he is played by James Remar. He offers her a ride, which she accepts. His wife, played by Lauren Holly, isn’t too thrilled about this.

How are these three stories connected? What is wrong with Shipka? She sees something that is a shadowy looking creature, what is it? Is it real or a hallucination? Will their parents finally show up or will something else happen before they can?

Now I had heard about this film from some of the horror film podcasts I listen to and I was really excited to finally watch it. I personally wasn’t disappointed. I have to give director and writer, Oz Perkins, a lot of credit. He did a great job with the story of the film. Early on you get how Shipka and Boynton are connected as they interact with each other, but as it goes on, it gets odder and odder until Roberts story completes the tale. I like that the film keeps it ambiguous as to what the truth is. I enjoy this, because I think it should make you think and to draw your own conclusion as to what the outcome is. This film is definitely a slow-burn until the payoff which I loved.

The acting in this film is great. Shipka does a solid job at coming off as odd in the beginning and then as the film goes on and on, you see her mental state deteriorate more and more. Her look and how she interacts with those around her make it very believable. I thought Boynton did a solid job as well in her role. She is an older student who has a plan why she isn’t going home yet and she doesn’t want it interfered with. I thought she did a good job and it was realistic in how she is. Roberts character was also interesting in that she is quiet. The payoff with her though helps it make complete what has happened.

For here I need to talk about the editing first. This film isn’t given chronologically. We will see a scene from one of the girls’ point of view, and then we will go back and give it in other ones. I like this presentation, because when you see from how one does and then the other, it helps you to truly take it all in. It really helps build the tension and keep the overall ominous mood of the film. They didn’t need much in the way of the effects outside of the entity that Shipka sees. They keep this as a shadow in the film and I think that was a wise choice. The effects though were good. Finally the score I thought was great. It takes over some of the scenes and makes them even more powerful. I was highly impressed by this.

Now with that said, I thought this film was great. The story of the film is a concept that is based in realism and could definitely happen. I love that the filmmaker leaves it up to the audience to decide whether or not there is something supernatural going on here or if this is a case of mental illness. The acting of the film was great as well. The editing was very well done and sets the tone of the film. There is little use of effects, but the ones that are were good. The score was also something that was excellently used. I would highly recommend this film if you are a horror fan or not.

 

My Rating: 9 out of 10