The Blackcoats Daughter is a psychological horror film directed by Osgood Perkins. The plot is split into three separate narratives, one for each character, that culminate together in the final act. It tells the story of two girls who are left behind at their Catholic boarding school over break. Things quickly become sinister when it becomes clear that one of the girls is in league with a demon; a bloodbath ensues.
When I first saw this film the other night, I didn’t know what I thought of it, a few days later as I am writing this review I still don’t. This seems to be a recurring theme of Perkins work; it is incredibly polarising.
On the one hand it is incredibly drawn out, to the point of feeling indulgent or as though it is trying to kill time, at points and the split narrative can be confusing even after you have seen it; as there are a lot of little details that are easy to miss, I recommend if you are going to watch this film to watch it twice.
However, when you do start to pick up on the little details and things it becomes far more engaging and far creepier to. In fact I thought this film was genuinely quite scary and it made me jump, more than I have done in a long time, at one point in the film. I think the horror in this film comes as a result of figuring out what is really going on and how everything fits together.
Another to praise in this film is the performance of Kiernan Shipka as Katherine, the main girl and the one who is in league with the forces of evil. Up until watching this I was convinced she couldn’t act, her performance in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is painfully bad, though now I think that this might have been bad writing, because here she was fantastic. Shipka plays evil and creepy so well, she is really quite menacing in this film and puts the performances of everyone else to shame; this film will serve as a testament to her acting forever more.
Overall, certainly not a film for everyone, but if you like slow burning horror then you will find something to like here.
A great twist.
Creepy and unsettling.
Slow and confusing at points has to be watched twice to fully appreciate.
Reviewed by Luke