Taking cliches and turning them on their heads to craft something entirely new isn’t as easy as it sounds, but writer and director Oz Perkins did a stellar job turning formula into freshness with The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
The title may be a little on the clunky side, and doesn’t immediately let you know the film is a supernatural horror laced with demonic trappings, but perhaps that’s for the best. Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton play a pair of boarding school students left to their own devices over the winter break, in an establishment that happens to be plagued by rumors of satanism.
Meanwhile, Emma Roberts’ escaped psychiatric patient hitches a ride with a middle-aged couple who plan on taking her to the exact same school for unexplained reasons, with the three-pronged narrative establishing that there’s going to be a lot of guesswork and problem solving required of the audience, a welcome rarity when jump scares and exposition tend to be the order of the day.
Largely overlooked at the time and still severely unappreciated five years on from its initial release, the slow-burning dread and curious storytelling structure marked Perkins out as one to watch. They may be half a decade late to the party, then, but at-home viewers are finally being won over by the unique charms of The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
As per FlixPatrol, the unfairly unsung effort has stuck a knife into the platform’s global charts, and will continue to twist for at least a couple of days. After all, we’re getting closer and closer to Halloween, so any horror flick available at the push of a button is going to get watched by somebody somewhere.