“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” is a modern masterpiece — a smart, atmospheric, beautifully constructed and acted film you won’t soon forget.
After writing and directing The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Osgood Perkins, the son of legendary horror icon Anthony Perkins, is well on his way to becoming a horror icon himself.
Like Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless classic Psycho, Osgood Perkins’ debut film The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a masterclass in horror. Enveloped in an eerie atmosphere with a hauntingly beautiful synth score and a pervasive sinister presence, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is the modern era’s The Exorcist.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter primarily takes place at the Bramford School, a Catholic school for girls. When two students are forced to remain at the school over winter break, after their parent’s failure to pick them up, bizarre and malevolent things begin to happen to the girls.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter features an excellent cast that most viewers will immediately recognize.
Leading the film is Sabrina Spellman herself, Kiernan Shipka, as Katherine. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s best to go into this film blind, but Katherine is not her usual self throughout this film. And Shipka really sells the horrific phenomena transpiring within her character quite well. Shipka honestly gives a performance as good as Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates in Psycho or Linda Blair’s Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist. After watching this film, it’s clear to see why Shipka is one of Hollywood’s most popular rising stars.
Also starring in the film is Emma Roberts as the enigmatic “Joan”, a drifting young woman who is helped by a kind couple heading towards the Bramford School. Like Shipka’s Katherine, Roberts’ “Joan” is not exactly herself in this film either, and she sells it just as well as Shipka does. Shipka and Roberts give phenomenal performances in this film and their brilliant intersected performances are the highlight of The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
Another strength of the film is its atmosphere.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter relishes in each increasingly shocking reveal, taking its sweet time to cloak the viewer in its rich, chilling ambiance.
This film savors each frame of celluloid, and like Charon, it slowly leads viewers into Hell as their fears grow larger and larger until they are ultimately faced with evil incarnate.
Osgood’s brother Elvis Perkins’ musical score also adds so much to the film’s unsettling atmosphere. The way that the score is utilized in the film is honestly on par with John Carpenter and Mike Oldfield’s timeless classic arrangements in Halloween and The Exorcist.
Julie Kirkwood’s cinematography is also top-notch, with frames long lingering and adding to the film’s stygian ambiance.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter is also greatly strengthened by a second viewing.
With repeat viewings, the terror of the unforeseen diminishes, but the film’s intricate details become far more clear.
The Devil is truly in the details with The Blackcoat’s Daughter, as the film requires intense focus and concentration if one is to enjoy it fully.
Osgood Perkin’s The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a severely underrated horror masterpiece that deserves your attention.