Friday, June 23, 2017

Day 235: The Blackcoat's Daughter

This is available on Amazon Prime for no added cost, which is nice. This is the first movie from Oz Perkins, son of Tony "Psycho" Perkins but the second to be released (Netflix beat it with I am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House).

This movie opens with a young girl at a boarding school having a nightmare about her parents getting in a car accident. It is the last day of class before a winter break and Katherine knows her parents won't be there to pick her up. Two matronly caretakers and Rose, an older student who believes she is pregnant, are the only three other people at the school. As we follow the events at the school, another young lady named Joan (Emma Roberts) has shown up at the bus station not far from the school and is picked up by a nice couple (James Remar and Lauren Holly). Something evil is happening to young Kat and how all this plays out is dark fun of the movie.

Really, the plot is secondary to the mood of the movie. Elvis Perkins provides an ambient, ominous score that puts you off immediately. The space between lines lingers just a little too long to be comfortable and all the negative space in the shots is certainly disturbing. The editing plays a big part, too, in that events are skipped and doubled back to see later. Little flashes give clues to character motivations and help make sense of the chronology. This is a pretty well-constructed movie even if one climactic line did make me unintentionally giggle.

The ending is surprisingly emotional as you figure out what the whole movie is about in the last five minutes. What else can you do when you miss your loved ones?

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