Some may describe The Blackcoat’s Daughter as “a slow burn.” I think “half baked” is a more apt description. What begins with a promising setting: a creepy boarding school which is abandoned for break by all but two girls and two caregivers, ends with a kerplunk.
Kat (Kiernan Shipka) is a clean cut, well behaved student at Bramford school. She’s disappointed when her parents don’t arrive to pick her up for winter break. The only other girl on campus is Rose (Lucy Boynton). Rose is mysterious, and sexy, and she has purposefully told her parents the wrong day to pick her up so she can sneak off with her boyfriend. The two caregivers apparently live in a home next door to the school.
While we plod along in the uneventful, and peevishly boring story of Kat and Rose, we are also given glimpses of the life of a far more interesting young woman, Joan (Emma Stone). Joan is a sickly, disturbed young woman who hitches a ride with a couple. She is trying to get to Bramford.
There is talk at Bramford that the caretakers are possessed by Satan. Kat begins to hear a strange voice which is meant to be scary, but sounds more funny than spooky. Rose returns to campus one night to find Kat creepily sitting in front of the boiler in the basement. This would all be more interesting if there had been any character development of either Kat or Rose or any chemistry between them. There are a few jump out scares, and the music is pumped in hard to try to add a frightening element, but there is not enough developed to be scared of.
There are several gratuitous murders, and when the film crescendos and Joan’s character takes over the story it is wholly unsatisfying, ridiculous, and frustrating.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Director: Oz Perkins
Writer: Oz Perkins
Starring: Kieran Shipka, Lucy Boynton and Emma Stone
Runtime: 93 minutes
Release date: March 31, 2017 (Houston)
MPAA rating: R