The Blackcoat’s Daughter, if you check it out on IMDB, says it came out first in 2015. Shit, it must have been in the festival game for a long time.
Because today (March 31, 2017) is its actual release date, at least in this area. Maybe part of it is that it is a foreign film, from Canada! And you know it is indie, because it has a VOD release on the same day as its theatrical release.
But I digress. The real important thing I want to talk about is that this film used to be called February. The Blackcoat’s Daughter is definitely a better title, so if anything, it has props for that. And naming it after a month, and releasing it in a different month is super weird.
These poor girls have been waiting patiently for this movie to release for almost 2 months thanks to the title confusion!
This story is about a few girls and a really nice Catholic school. We have Kat (Kiernan Shipka) who is having weird dreams of car crashes, and Rose (Lucy Boynton), an older girl who is afraid she might be pregnant. On an extended break in February, both girls find themselves stuck at the school, neither having a ride home from their parents.
Kat has no idea where her parents are (but assumes they are dead). Rose admits that she “accidentally” told them the wrong date, because she wants to tell her boyfriend about the pregnancy first if she is indeed pregnant. So they are sent to stay with caretakers near the school, because they cannot just live there forever. Rose doesn’t take good care of Kat though, leaving her alone and telling her ghost stories.
But we also have to talk about Joan (Emma Roberts)! She is a weird girl, alone, seemingly homeless. And she gets a ride from strangers because of how cold it is out. Linda (Lauren Holly) and Bill (James Remar) decide to pick her up because Bill says she reminds her of someone. What is her mysterious story and how is she connected?!
And she is screaming into bloody hands. Or eating bloody stuff. Or maybe some spicy cheetos?
First of all, let’s just say I don’t have any clue why this movie is called The Blackcoat’s Daughter. I might have missed it. It could have been in a story Rose told. But I don’t know. I would have understood why it was called February at least.
The film itself is very tense and slow. It takes awhile to realize how the girls are connected and the why, but it has some great reveals. The death scenes, unfortunately, feel very realistic. They are not glorified in violence, but they are graphic and still shocking. I was definitely at the edge of my seat by the end.
At the same time, it still was a bit confusing. It was also a little bit too slow at points in the middle. It has an okay story and some decent frights, it just takes awhile to get there.
Roberts/Boynton aren’t the strong suits here, even though I watched it for them. Shipka does really shine in creepiness. It must be those intense Mad Men eyes of hers.
Overall, The Blackcoat’s Daughter has a small scale story, but it offers some real thrills. It just didn’t overall do it for me as a movie and had me lost in a few places.
2 out of 4.