Getting this one out really late tonight, and I’m not entirely sure how it became 2am but seems like I sound get started on today’s post. On one personal note, I finally got a call back from my local COVID clinic and I am getting my first shot on Sunday. Hopefully I will be able to return to theaters sometime soon. Only one new to me film today, but I did also re-watch Tangerine (2015, Dir. Sean Baker) and that continues to be one of the best films of the last 10 years. But that film is not eligible for today’s post, so instead an extremely tonally different film.
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2017, Dir. Oz Perkins)
A24’s horror offerings are some of the most divisive offerings in today’s cinema landscape. General audience are prone to finding the slow burns a tedious watch while critics tend to be more receptive to the films’ focus on atmosphere over plot. The Blackcoat’s Daughter may not quite have the reputation of some of A24’s bigger horror titles, but it fully embodies the studio’s horror film style.
What helps the indie studio’s horror films to be so effective is in the pacing. While the films rely on a smoldering tension build they offset this by starting more tense than standard fare. The Blackcoat’s Daughter does this by opening with a character’s dark premonition. This combined with a physically unsettling score ensure that even as the film is slow to build from these initial moments, the film remains tense throughout. When the film finally hits a gruesome climax, it offers a relief from the protracted build in addition the acute anxiety. One day the A24 horror formula may become tired, but until then it continues to offer the most expertly controlled films being released, and The Blackcoat’s Daughter deserves to the thought of with the rest of the excellent catalogue.