I had not one iota of what I was walking into with The Blackcoat’s Daughter (Originally titled February), Osgood Perkins‘(son of Anthony) feature film debut. I knew it had premiered at TIFF 2015 but other than it being about teen girls, I had no clue and I was expecting the standard high school horror fare. Did I get that though? That’s the question.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter begins in the freezing month of February at an all girls Catholic school a few days before winter break. Here we meet Rose (Lucy Boyton), an older girl who along with Kat (Kiernan Shipka), get stuck on campus for a few days due to parenting snafus. Rose really wants nothing to with the younger Kat and makes a point of letting her know that as she sneaks off campus to meet with her boyfriend. Meanwhile Kat snoops through Rose’s room put out by the snubbing of the older girl. Elsewhere we meet Joan (Emma Roberts), meandering at a bus terminal with seemingly no one to greet her. As she lingers she catches the eye of Bill (James Remar) a kind older gentleman who notices that Joan is not dressed for the weather, and proceeds to offer her a ride along with his wife to Joan’s desired destination.
I was ready to write this off as your standard bunch of teenage tropes and was pleasantly surprised by the tension and sense of dread this movie built. It’s a slow burn, content to let atmosphere, sparse dialogue, and a jarring score ramp up the suspense to almost uncomfortable levels. It kept me on my toes trying to play movie psychic and figure out what road this film was traveling. And I couldn’t, I was left off balance until the film’s close. Honestly folks if you’re looking for something fresh, creepy as all hell and suspenseful, get thee to this movie post haste. I promise you won’t regret it. And if perchance you do, I’ll send you cookies!