Friday, February 03, 2017

It's about damn time: The Blackcoat's Daughter (a.k.a. February) opens March 31

It was a different time, perhaps a better time. The sky was bluer, friends were truer. Most people — not me, mind you, but most other people — still thought Donald Trump would never, ever get the GOP nomination for President.

It was September 2015. And at the Toronto Film Festival, I saw a chilling little film called February. As I wrote in my original Variety review:

“Let’s address the obvious right off the bat: Yes, [February] is the first feature written and directed by Osgood Perkins — son of Anthony Perkins, the late, great actor who made his stab at immortality as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho — and yes, this, too, is a thriller that generates a shock or two through the grievous misuse of cutlery. (Come to think of it, it also features a portentous close-up of water swirling down a bathtub drain.) But rest assured, this slow-burning, sure-footed scary movie is likely to prompt discussions about things other than family traditions — or, if you prefer, bloodlines. An atmospheric and suspenseful indie with a subtle but unmistakable retrograde feel, it should score with sophisticated genre aficionados and anyone else inclined to savor a stealthy, unsettling escalation of dread before full-bore horror kicks in.” 

Not very long after the Toronto fest wrapped, February was renamed The Blackcoat’s Daughter. (That’s the title under which you’ll now find my review on the increasingly popular website.) And then… well, not much. Until now.

A24, arguably the most venturesome distributor in the movie business right now, has announced a March 31 theatrical release date for February… er, I mean The Blackcoat’s Daughter. And if you can’t wait that long: It will be available exclusively on DirecTV starting February 16 before opening at theaters and drive-ins everywhere. 

So what’s it all about? That’s difficult to say. In my revised Variety review, I explain:

“The challenge facing those eager to talk or write about The Blackcoat’s Daughter is simple yet daunting: You can’t provide too many details without spilling an inordinate number of beans. Indeed, it’s hard to praise the three lead performances [by Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton] — which, not incidentally, are very good indeed — without spoiling the pleasure of appreciating how each actress approaches her role.”

Here is the trailer for The Blackcoat’s Daughter — which, I am happy to note, doesn’t give too much of the game away. (And yes, before you ask: My Variety review is quoted here. Twice.)

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