Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton) attend Bramford, a Catholic boarding school for girls. Kat is anxious about her performance for the school recital before everyone leaves for a week’s break. Both the girls are left behind with the school staff since Kat’s parents can’t be reached, and Rose thinks she’s pregnant and tells her parents to pick her up on the wrong dates. Rose is asked to look out for Kat, but Kat’s a strange girl, often staring off into space, deep in thought, and her behaviour makes Rose and their guardians uneasy. Joan (Emma Roberts) is a young woman stranded at a bus stop, and the kindness of strangers Bill (James Remar) and his wife Linda (Lauren Holly) help her with a room and a hot meal. She’s haunted by memories of an institution and doesn’t say much. Little does Bill know that Joan has a connection to him he would never guess, and everyone’s fate lies in her hands.
This unsettling film uses a near-empty boarding school as a chilling backdrop for the supernatural and an exploration of religion and mental illness. Different timelines keep the audience guessing as the fates of the three girls converge to a shocking finale. Directed by Osgood Perkins with an eerie score by his bother Elvis, the wintery atmosphere and intense performances will haunt audiences long after the finale frame.
Review by Carolyn Mauricette
Emma Roberts, James Remar, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton