Goodnight Mommy Movie Review
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RADiUS picked up the US distribution rights to a 2014 Austrian horror movie originally called Ich seh, Ich seh which has been making the rounds at various film festivals under the name Goodnight Mommy. The German language film directed and written by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz has received rave reviews along the way and is poised to become somewhat of a cult hit here in the US. As with the majority of subtitled movies, Goodnight Mommy will not see a wide release in theaters so the best bet might be to catch it On Demand or something similar. As for the premise and quality of the movie itself, just keep on reading because I’ve got some thoughts.
A mother (Susanne Wuest) who recently had major facial surgery returns home to her twin boys, Lukas (Lukas Schwarz) and Elias (Elias Schwarz), who welcome her back with open arms…at least initially. Her return to their secluded lakeside home soon reveals that there some underlying issues that will need to be addressed at some point. The mother begins to behave erratically and becomes increasingly temperamental as Goodnight Mommy progresses. As tension builds, the boys form an even stronger bond with one another as they start to suspect that the woman behind the bandages is not their real mom. During this stressful time for everyone it turns into mother versus sons and twin against twin as the family tries to find its way back to normalcy. There is definitely something off and only over time will the truth be revealed.
Not being a huge fan of subtitled movies I went into Goodnight Mommy with guarded trepidation. After all, if I wanted to read my entertainment I can grab a book. After finishing this movie my stance on the situation has done a complete 180 degree turnaround. The plot, writing and acting come from a very dark place, but yet a very believable one as well. The experiences feel less like a movie and more like getting a glimpse of events that are actually happening real time. The uncertainty of what is going to happen next turns into nervous excitement and unshakable curiosity as the brain attempts to make sense of the story. Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz do a very good job at keeping the audience off balanced as they drop addictive bread crumbs to lead viewers down the path they dictate.
By the end of Goodnight Mommy there will have been some disturbing actions witnessed and some definite “oh wow” moments experienced as well. This modest horror thriller over delivers on what is thought to be a basic movie about a dysfunctional family dealing with extraordinary issues. Watching this from start to finish proved to be a real treat in the end as has restored faith in lower budget horror/thriller movies. If the opportunity should ever present itself to watch Goodnight Mommy I’d suggest jumping at the chance to witness what people with great vision and understanding of the genre can create.