A cut (so many cuts, my goodness) above the putatively cerebral but actually aimless dither and yawn found in so much boutique-horror in recent years (you know what I mean--that pretty vacant thing that won't get out of the house), but still well short of what it wants to be. What dark magic there is here owes its power to the synergy of Elvis Perkins' score with Kiernan Shipka's harrowing, smile-glowering glow.
Never understood why when a horror film favors a slow-burn approach over sustained tension and breakneck frights, it's finally thought of as smart and creative. Much like the undercooked dullness masquerading as intellect of The Babadook and The Witch, this isn't a literate or auteurist slow-burn horror film exercise akin to Polanski or even Nicolas Roeg and Peter Medak, but a lifeless one that could use more depth.
Great slow burn chiller with a fragmented plot and excellent photography, sound design and score. I like that the director really managed to convey tension and menace with minimal effort and without resorting to cheap jump scares and heavy exposition. Sure there are some parts that does not really add up but this is heads and shoulders above many other horror movies out there at the moment.
To me, this feels like typical nonsense that is heralded as "subversive" or "intellectual" simply because nobody wants anybody else to know they don't understand it. There's nothing to understand. It's an under-cooked effort that (I think) tried to weave a triangular demonic possession tale, but sadly very little of it amounts to anything. Further, they seemed to mistake moody lighting for no lighting. Waste of time.
I think the biggest potential strength of The Blackcoat's Daughter turned out to be its biggest weakness. The whole film plays out as essentially two isolated incidents, which I like; but it was so adamant on providing such little context that it lacked the character development necessary for me to stay engaged. It ultimately results in a paper thin film. What I can commend is the spot-on tone and score.
Sensorially, this wasn't horrible; I liked looking at and feeling it. But the story was just either too weak or messy to make it anything more than a nice photograph with scary music. Casting two different actresses to play the same young girl only nine years apart was such a monumentally bad idea.
This is a decent horror, well acted, well directed and with a fantastic soundtrack. There is something stylish and refined about its atmosphere, an anti trash splatter. The story-line however is too fragmented, I guess it is where the director got a bit lost as the different parts do not seem to come together as well as they should have. Excellent debut nevertheless.