February (2015) is a English movie. Oz Perkins has directed this movie. Emma Roberts,Kiernan Shipka,Lucy Boynton,James Remar are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. February (2015) is considered one of the best Horror,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
Two Catholic schoolgirls Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) get left behind at their boarding school over winter break as the other girls leave, where it's rumored that the nuns are satanists. Meanwhile, a disturbed mental patient Joan (Emma Roberts), an escapee, is picked up by a middleage couple (James Remar and Lauren Holly) who drive her on a determined trip to the same school, where the girls must face the supernatural and demonic possession.
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February (2015) Reviews
I think my expectations were too high, or this movie just missed the mark.
The Blackcoat's Daughter, originally titled February, was a film that received quite some buzz during it's initial screenings at film festivals back in 2015. It eventually got a quiet release in limited theatrical screenings in February (of course) 2017 before its home release. As a connoisseur of horror films, I was intrigued (even though I dislike Emma Roberts) especially because despite its derivative themes of demonic possession, the film apparently does new things with the formula. Bought it day one and I have to say I was kind of disappointed. In a boarding school, students Katherine "Kat" (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) stay behind during school break while the other girls leave with their families. Kat's parents don't come because they are deceased while Rose intentionally gave her parents the wrong date, she suspects that she might be pregnant and doesn't yet want to face her parents about it. The third girl, "Joan" (Emma Roberts), is a mystery as she gets off on a bus stop and is implied to be an escaped mental patient as she removes her hospital bracelet in the bathroom. She is soon picked up by an elderly couple (James Remar and Lauren Holly) who mention that they are on their way to the boarding school. Watching the film I was underwhelmed because it is hollow and has no soul. It's plenty creepy with looming hallways and dark spaces but there's never anything here that's actually frightening. Kat is orphaned and as a result is supposed to be metaphorically raised by darkness because she summons a demon in the boiler room after Rose taunts her with a story that the nuns are satanists and worship demons. I never once got the indication that Kat was lonely, sure she looks gloomy but she's like that for the entire movie even before we find out what happened, she never grieves her parents and never looks lost and desperate. She has no character arc or any semblance of a personality. It makes it hard to believe that she'd befriend the demon out of loneliness as a result, the demon itself also doesn't have a threatening presence. I never got chills of dread about the demon or what it's capable of, it isn't unnerving and almost feels like a plot device threaded thorough the film so that the movie can exist. Rose is equally as uninteresting and hollow. Her entire character is just her hanging out with her boyfriend and interacting with Kat for a small conversation. I understand why she stayed behind but the problem is that I know it but I don't feel it. Rose never once looks anxious or panicked about the possibility of being pregnant, if you didn't catch it the first time you would probably never pick up on it. There's also never any friction or tension when she is with her boyfriend over the fact that he might have gotten her pregnant. She has no arc and never becomes involved in the plot as anything more than another plot device. In the third act she finally has her period, much to her relief, and is suddenly killed by a possessed Kat after she also murdered the nuns, and offers their decapitated heads as an offering to the demon before she is blasted with a shotgun by the police and sent to an institution. No resolution, nothing, her death carries no meaning because she never had any either as a character. This leads me to my next point, the "big" twist in the film is that "Joan" is actually an older Kat after she escaped the asylum and has returned to the town 9 years later to return to the boarding school and is actually picked up by Rose's parents who are heading to the school to place flowers at her grave. The glaring problems with this twist is that it's pretty obvious. Joan/Kat is never in the same scene with the other girls and exists in her own subplot completely separated from the boarding school. While Joan/Kat is showering, we can see a shotgun wound on her shoulder where Kat was shot before the twist is revealed, she also looks extremely similar to Kat in terms of hair color and facial appearance. The dead giveaway is that in the diner scene with Joan/Kat and Rose's father, he reveals that their daughter Rose died 9 years earlier and shows her a picture of her before Joan/Kat heads to the bathroom and starts to giggle before we see the driver's license of the woman she killed and stole it from, who was named Joan Marsh. The film clumsily ends with her killing the parents in their car before decapitating them and taking the heads to the now closed down boarding school. She again offers the heads as a sacrifice in the boiler room and yet nothing happens. She walks out in despair and starts to cry uncontrollably. The point you were supposed to get was that she is lonely and wanted the demon back, because she was exorcised by a priest before she was institutionalized and wanted it to stay with her. There's no raw emotions to this scene because we never got a sense of desperation or loneliness from Kat, the exorcism scene is the only time in the whole film she expresses her attachment to the demon. With no emotional knowledge of the situation there's no impact. This film reminds me of Proxy, both have loosely attached events with a scattered plot messily clashed together with no semblance or fluidity to it. The few redeeming qualities I saw are the eerie and beautiful winter setting, the unnerving music, and the cinematography is somewhat creepy. But otherwise this movie is soulless and has no weight attached to it. It's forgettable. I still recommend you check it out if you're curious, just temper your expectations because it isn't as good as you'd hope it is.
A Great Atmospheric Slow Burn that's not for everyone
DISCLAIMER: This film requires a patient viewer who likes slow burns and atmospheric dread rather than jump scares or thriller action. Many of the user reviews on here trash the movie for being too slow or too boring, but this movie was never meant to appeal to everyone. If you thought this was boring or too slow, everyone has different taste and that's fine. First off, the biggest strength of this movie is the icy dread and unease that this movie produces from the opening scene right up to the tragic final shot. This tense atmosphere never relents, even during mundane scenes, and left that dread in the pit of my stomach for the entirety of the film. Everything feels like there's something not quite right with it. The cinematography and lighting are dark and brooding, with every room dimly lit and every setting having a sinister feel. This dreary feel to all the scenes almost never lets up and keeps the dread at a maximum. The sound design is quite good, using prolonged silence to make scenes feel uneasy and eerie sound effects and music to heighten tension and fear. This is one of the loudest quiet movies I've ever seen, and the subtle arctic winds blowing and faint whispers and static drone are masterfully used. The setting and environment add another layer to the dread of the film. Set in remote upstate New York in the dead of winter, the deep snow is suffocating and chilling. You can really feel the isolation of the school where Kat and Rose are staying, and the school itself is creepy in its own right, with dark and foreboding hallways and a glum exterior. The story is not spoon-fed to viewers and is a bit of a puzzle that reveals itself one brief detail at a time, and it can be confusing on the first viewing of it. It keeps you guessing as to what's happening, and has some twists that make you rethink what you saw. The plot is told in an odd fashion, with each main character having their own "arc" in a sense and lots of brief flashbacks by Joan and Kat. The ending is a good payoff for all the dread and tension built up, though a bit rushed. The final shot is beautiful and haunting, and has stuck with me ever since. Kiernan Shipka is very creepy and unsettling as Kat, and gives the best performance in the film. Even those who did not like this movie gave Shipka props for a wonderful job done. Emma Roberts steps into a different role than she usually does, and does an excellent job as Joan. Her body language said more than the few lines she has. The rest of the cast also turns in solid performances, the acting in this is a great strength next to its atmosphere. This is an excellent but polarizing slow burn non-traditional possession horror film, and is impressive for Osgood Perkins' directorial debut.
A Simple Story saved by an Eerie Atmosphere
* TBD is an interesting film that is GUARANTEED to polarize horror lovers. It's a very simple narrative from a story standpoint, but what it lacks in narrative it's saved in spades by atmosphere and mystery. This is more of a psychological-thriller than a splatter-fest or hack-and-slash. * So let's get the obvious out of the way, yes, it's a slow movie. It's a slow burn and I'd even say the climax is rather tame (not lame) in terms of gore/excitement/reward. Yes, it builds to a somewhat bloody climax but it's not balls to the wall crazy, so I'm afraid some will think the slow burn 70 minute build up isn't worth the wait. * The movie is a classic case of style over substance. The gray color palette and dreary snow gives the movie its potent atmosphere. Throw in a great soundtrack/score (note: the music isn't like "It Follows" where you can listen to individual tracks). This movie's music perfect compliments specific scenes and builds some tension. It's a great addition even if it's not something I would go to Youtube and listen to compared to other horror soundtracks. * This is a good slow burn horror movie, it's not perfect (mostly because the story is bare bones), but it's definitely watchable thanks to the three female leads. All of them are fantastic! So if you think you can handle a slow burn (with a more thought provoking climax opposed to a splatter fest) then this is something you should check out!
February is a flawed film. It is also a fantastic film.
February is a flawed film. It is also a fantastic film. It takes place in the middle of a cold, snowy Canadian winter at an all-girls boarding school. The winter break is approaching and all the girls are picked up by their parents to spend a week at home. The exception is Kat (Kiernan Shipka), a very young girl whose parents don't show up and she begins to fear them dead, and Rose (Lucy Boynton), an older girl who has lied to her parents because she wanted to spend the break alone at the school. As time goes on, Kat gets more and more worried about her parents and acting stranger and stranger. Meanwhile, a couple of towns over, another young lady, Joan (Emma Roberts), escapes from a mental institution. She seems to be on the move toward the boarding school where the other two girls are. I would advise against seeing trailers or looking up anything further about the plot, this movie is best experienced with no preconceptions of the sub-genre or where it is going, because it leaves you most open to what it tries to do. The magic of this movie is mostly in its extremely distinct mood, an almost undefinable aura or quality to it. All of the aspects of film making mirror the cold, snowy winter - music, the pace, the character interactions. The characters speak lazily, morbidly to each other, everything has a hint of cold tension underneath it. I've never seen a horror movie with this particular type of mood, and I always welcome unique experiences. The script is also expertly crafted. I like how subtly the mystery is revealed to the viewer - it is not spoon-fed at any point, and it is quite well-concealed for at least the first half of the movie. We only get pieces that almost seem impossible to fit together, yet they come together in a perfectly obvious and coherent conclusion. On top of that, the story radiates an overwhelming sadness which elicited a very strong emotional response from me personally. Mostly due to Shipka's amazing acting, which stole every scene (the other two girls are great too, just overshadowed by the youngest cast member). She really captures the desolate emptiness required of her role. The flaws are really mostly superficial, and a product of the fact that the movie was made by a relatively young cast. The director clearly has a good eye for morbid beauty, and he has made a movie that is much more artistic than the average horror, but I still found that some of his stylistic choices were cheesier and more generic than he seems to think they were. He's still a very talented guy, he just needs to find a more humble and grounded balance between innovation and reference. Still can't wait until he makes another horror though, I will definitely be following him!
It seems that these days there are a number of young directors and writers who were raised on the gore fest of the 80s and 90s that have found the need to try and legitimize the genre by taking similar types of stories and repainting them in artistic pieces instead. I'm not sure if it's a fear of being associated with the genre for future projects or trying to lead it into a direction where it can be taken seriously. What they're missing is the fact that those movies were made not to be hailed as artistic highlights but pure escapism, a way to dodge the art house films and have a full on blast at the movies. Case in point THE BLACKCOAT'S DAUGHTER. The movie opens with freshman Kat (Kiernan Shipka), a strange young girl at a boarding school, who seems to have an infatuation with the priest who is also the headmaster. He's going away for the holidays which disappoints her since she's performing for the class and he will miss it. Instead she'll wait patiently for her parents to arrive late as well who will then take her home for the holiday. Concurrent with this story is that of Rose (Lucy Boynton), a senior at the same school who is also waiting for the late arrival of her parents as well and placed in charge of looking after Kat. The difference between the two is that Rose is actually staying behind to meet with her boyfriend to discuss the fact that she may be pregnant so she put off her parents coming. Sneaking out and leaving Kat behind Rose returns to find her missing. Searching the building, listening to noises emanating from the heating system, Rose tracks Kat down to the basement of the building, bowing up and down in front of the furnace as if in worship. She takes her back to her room and tries to calm her down but Kat is now odder than before. As this story unfolds we are introduced to another character, Joan (Emma Roberts), a young girl who exits a bus with no apparent means to support herself or the trip she is on. We get glimpses of her in a hospital for what appears to be the insane and see her tear off a hospital wrist band in the bathroom of the bus station. Joan receives and offer for a ride from Bill (James Remar) and his wife Linda (Lauren Holly) who take sympathy on her. As the few days the story takes place move forward, Kat begins to act more strange than when she was first introduced, something Rose notes but make no mention of but the two older women left in charge of the school notice right away. A combination of foul language and improper behavior while saying grace concerns them all. Back to Bill, Linda and Joan. We're not quite sure what is up with Bill. Has he truly taken a sympathetic interest in Joan or is there something more deviant going on here? When he tells her the story of his daughter who died years earlier and says she looks just like her, is it wishful thinking on her part or is this a sinister secret he's sharing with her, something that happened better left unsaid. This might sound like an interesting movie with some scares that are indeed genuine but unfortunately my description is better than the movie itself. It turns out the story is unfolding in non-linear movie time. This means that the story is being told in bits and pieces not in the order things happen but back and forth in time to suit the needs of the director and author who use it to both confuse and to attempt to create a more artistic vision for the viewer. Instead it leaves you confused and wondering just what is really going on until perhaps the last 30 minutes of the film. From a technical aspect the movie is well made with some great cinematography on display. The performances are well done with Shipka providing a truly creepy character while at the same time offering little emotion in her performance. But none of that can save this movie. The worst two items to be seen are the way the story is told to begin with and the music. This non-linear form doesn't help the story but just makes it confusing. If that was the intent then the film makers here succeeded. If they were trying to make an interesting story they failed. The music is so overused here as to interfere with the story rather than assist it. Every time something unusual happens the music gets more mysterious than what we're looking and swells to a volume as to force you to pay attention to it rather than the story. I had hopes for this movie having read the description of what it was about. Instead I got a movie that made me realize far too many new horror films are filled with this dependence on music, slow story telling that doesn't unravel a mystery so much as drag it along and the end results of these films as being less horrifying and more torture to sit through. My suggestion is wait to watch this until it shows up on Netflix or the Chiller Channel and only then if you must.