The Blackcoat's Daughter is a 2015 horror film directed by Oz Perkins, son of Anthony Perkins. The movie follows two storyines, the first centering around a pair of girls, Kat and Rose. The two have no choice but to stay at their Catholic school when neither girl's parents arrive to pick them up for Christmas break. As the two get to know one another, Rose begins to suspect that something's not quite right about Kat. The second storyline follows a third girl, Joan, who is picked up by a couple when she's found all alone in the cold. As her storyline unfolds, we gradually learn more about the disturbing backstory that led to her current predicament.
This film provides examples of:
- All for Nothing: Kat murders a nurse to escape the mental institution. She then murders Bill and his wife en route to the now shut down boarding school. She brings their heads to the furnace hoping the demon will possess her again, but he never comes, leading to the Downer Ending and Villainous Breakdown noted below.
- Alone with the Psycho: Rose slowly gathers reason to believe that Kat, with whom she is stuck with for the time being, is completely insane. It turns out that she's actually possessed, although her sanity in the present day is dubious at best.
- Anachronic Order: The whole movie jumps back and forth between two time periods, but this doesn't become apparent until the end.
- Country Matters: Comes up twice on account of the demon possessing Kat. First, it uses Kat's mouth and voice to call Ms. Drake one. Everyone besides Kat drops their mouths in astonishment. It is a pretty big deal, considering the Catholic school setting. Second, it commands Kat over the payphone to "Kill all of the ..."
- Cruel and Unusual Death: All of Kat's victims get their throats slashed or stabbed to death prior to beheading. Bonus points to Miss Prescott. Kat slashes her throat just enough to render her helpless and in agony, but shallow enough so that the death is anything but quick.
- Demonic Possession: The reason behind Kat's strange behavior. Her motivation in the present day is to become possessed all over again.
- Downer Ending: Rose is long dead, Bill and his wife are dead too, and Kate is unable to summon the demonic entity that possessed her years earlier. The movie ends with her sobbing, with no idea what to do with her life now.
- Kill and Replace: Kat was locked up in a mental institution after her first series of murders. She picks up that she bears an uncanny resemblance to a nurse named Joan who works at the institute, so Kat strangles her and uses her ID to escape. She even uses Joan as her new name to facilitate travel by bus, and otherwise avoid revealing her true identity.
- Loners Will Stay Alone: What drives Kat's actions throughout the film, and straight into the arms of the demon who possesses her. She's a shy and socially awkward girl with few if any friends in the school. The film punctuates that point by showing Rose as the popular girl who's always in the company of friends, while the girls always blow right by Kat without even the slightest acknowledgment. She's hurt even further by the fact that Father Brian won't be attending her singing demonstration. Then she loses her parents to a car crash. She's driven by the belief that something, anything, even if it means possession by an evil demon, has to be better than absolutely nothing.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The film rolls with this with both Rose and Kat's stories, but especially with Joan and her "father".
- Please Don't Leave Me: An almost literal example. Father Brian comes to Kat while she's restrained in a hospital bed, and pulls off what is arguably the easiest exorcism in the history of horror cinema. The demon willingly leaves after just a few words from Father Brian, after having used Kat for his purposes. She pleads with him, "Please don't go." But off he goes, and never to return to Kat.
- The Reveal: Not only does Kat and Rose's story take place almost a decade before Joan's, but Joan is actually just Kat living under an alias.
- Villainous Breakdown: Kat has a really disturbing one at the very end of the movie. Her efforts to get possessed again by the demon in a vain effort to have a connection to someone, anyone or anything besides herself has been All for Nothing. She realizes that she's now a mass murderer who is likely to spend the rest of her life utterly alone as always, with no friends, no career prospects, on the lam, and vilified by anybody who knows who she is. She breaks down sobbing and screaming in despair.