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The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) - Blu-ray Review

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The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) - Blu-ray Review

5 beersWriter/director Osgood Perkins’ The Blackcoat’s Daughter is a disturbing tale full of Satan worshipping, honest paranoia, and deep, deep emotions.  It is one hell of a fucked up masterpiece of shrieking, atmospheric black terror.  And, much like The Witch, it won’t soon be forgotten thanks to its message.

Starring Lucy Boynton (Sing Street), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) as the one who must “kill all the bitches” at this prep school, this fear-inducing tale of troubled (AND unnerving) girls seeking the heartfelt embrace of their parents weaves quite a spell over its audience.  Upon my second viewing, I can reach no other conclusion then that this is horror done right.  It is simply IMPOSSIBLE not to fall victim to its haunted and twisted ways, even if you don’t entirely understand it upon first viewing.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter does all it can do to keep you safe.  It feigns a peaceful and easy feeling at the beginning and doesn’t attempt to alert you – thanks to some very clever editing – to its deepest and darkest fears as Shipka’s character discovers the fate of her parents on their way to visit her.  Cue the choral voices, the LP scratches, and the mourning sound of cellos in the daybreak hours. 

But this is just the beginning; the layers are beginning to stack.  Perkins is only just now developing his dark take on parental themes that will soon take root with the condition one girl’s “condition” is in.  And it is all taking root along the same stretch of highway visitor’s use on the way to the prep school these girls attend.  And then there’s our sweet, sweet little hitchhiker who seems to drift in and out of time itself on the way back to her point of origin. 

With fierce audio effects and a super unsettling visual scope that just won’t let up (think The Shining), The Blackcoat’s Daughter sparks to unholy life at the place where three female-centered storylines intersect.  It’s not a happy place either.  It’s a dangerous place full of horned shadows and dark, dark actions.

This is a movie about the loss of parents and what takes that warm feeling’s place when hope is lost.  The first two narratives concern themselves with Kat (Shipka) and Rose (Boynton), who face unspeakable terrors after being left alone over winter break while at the Bramford prep school, and a third in which Joan (Roberts) maneuvers her way through a difficult situation after coming across two mourning parents. 

But where these characters “meet” is probably the most disturbing truth in this narrative.

The isolation of these characters experience is made real by the use of the wide-shot in establishing location and identifying patterns.  This, in turn, is made more majestic by the swirling snow as night descends and the freezing earth.  Truthfully, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is an amazing achievement in film and in its twisting narrative structure. Dig in, Horror Hounds and Gore-Gore Girls, dig in.  Perkins, one of the sons of the great Anthony Perkins (Psycho, Five Miles to Midnight), really wants you to split the soil and dig your heels in to his story, so do it now and enter the haunted world of The Blackcoat’s Daughter

…if you dare alert your location to the horned shadows that creep about Bramford.

The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Oz Perkins
Writer:
Oz Perkins
Cast:
Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lauren Holly
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
She returns.
Memorable Movie Quote: "After all, we can't let you live here."
Theatrical Distributor:
Lionsgate
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 16, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 30, 2017
Synopsis: Beautiful and haunted Joan (Emma Roberts) makes a bloody and determined pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all-girls prep school, where Rose (Lucy Boynton) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka) find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. As Joan gets closer, Rose watches in horror while Kat suffers terrifying visions and becomes possessed by an unseen force.

The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Lionsgate
Available on Blu-ray
- May 30, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-25, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region A

Lionsgate and A24 present chilly world of The Blackcoat’s Daughter on 1080p with a pristine HD transfer.  Blacks are expressive and bold.  They retain their haunted edges with a fierceness that is both immersive and defined.  Colors are appropriately sharp, too.  Nothing is restrained here.  The blood effect looks practical and all sorts of gooey, too.  And the details in the setting do not go unnoticed.  Even the fibers in the uniforms are present throughout.  The 1.84:1 aspect ratio gives this digitally shot film an unexpected quality in its scope.  Foregrounds and backgrounds are expressively measured.  The fantastic sounds used in the movie are encoded through a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that immerses the audience in an uncomfortable world.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Osgood Perkins, the film’s writer and director, provides a strong feature length commentary that provides a lot of information about the making of the movie and its many, many layers.

Special Features:

Alas, there is but one supplemental item and it is fairly standard.  The making-of EPK included runs a total of 7 minutes and provides some information about the movie.  A digital download and DVD copy of the movie are both included with this release.

  • The Dead of Winter: Making The Blackcoat's Daughter (7 min)

The Blackcoat's Daughter (2015) - Blu-ray Review

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