The Curator of Schlock #229 by Jeff Shuster
The Blackcoat’s Daughter
We have a winner.
Maybe I was a little harsh on The Devil Inside. I mean, it had a great trailer. That possessed mother was reciting “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and it was all distorted and evil sounding. That’s what you do to get an audience hooked, take something innocent and make it all disturbing. If I were trying to sell one of these found footage horror movies, I’d have a Tickle Me Elmo doll start throwing up bile. Anyone would pay to see that. I’d call the movie Elmo’s Hellfire. Go ahead and call my agent, Hollywood!
This week’s movie is another demonic possession movie, a little arthouse flick titled The Blackcoat’s Daughter from director Oz Perkins. He’s the son of Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. And it’s good. It’s actually good. So good that I want to chide you for reading this review when you could be watching it on Amazon Prime Streaming right now. And I want to say that Amazon in no way paid me to say that. Because I have no business sense. And no money for an exterminator. And I really have to pee, but the roaches make the men’s room their home between 11 PM and 7 AM. Where did I put that Mason jar?
The Blackcoat’s Daughter handles demonic possession in style, weaving a narrative between three female characters. Two of them are teenagers at a Catholic boarding school for girls. Rose is a senior played by Lucy Boynton whose credits involve 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and this year’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Kat is a weirdo freshman played by Kiernan Shipka of Mad Men fame. The other is Joan, an escapee from an mental asylum played by Emma Roberts. We’ve got a powerhouse of leading ladies for such a small horror movie.
The plot? Kind of tricky since the movie jumps around between characters and time periods. It all bleeds together at the end, but the journey is worth as much as the destination. The two high school students are stuck at the Catholic School during a February Winter Break. There may be some devil worshipping going on. There may be some demonic possession going on. There may be some stabbing and decapitation, but—I’ve said too much.
Let’s just say if you’re walking around an abandoned campus in the middle of winter and see someone chanting and bowing in front of a fiery furnace at 3 AM then get the hell out of there!
Speaking of things you don’t do, don’t go over to strange young women who look like Emma Roberts. I know you feel bad for them because they’re sitting on a bus stop bench on a cold winter’s night, but trust me, just ignore them. Do not offer said strange young women a ride to upstate New York with your impatient wife who doesn’t like the idea of giving a strange young woman a ride to upstate New York. And don’t offer up platitudes like “time heals all wounds” because it doesn’t heal repeated stab wounds in the back and in the belly.
Anyway, watch The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Make it a family night at the movies.