Goodnight Mommy (2014)
Written By: Karla Cortes
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Producers: Ulrich Seidel
Writers: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
August 30, 2014 (Venice)
January 8, 2015 (Austria)
Susanne Wuest as The Mother
Elias Schwarz as Elias
Lukas Schwarz as Lukas
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Twin brothers Elias and Lukas are confronted with a disturbing situation when what appears to be their mother comes home after undergoing plastic surgery. With her face hidden behind bandages, the twins find it difficult to accept that the woman underneath is actually their mother. Aside from being unrecognizable, The Mother had also seemed to have completely changed in her character and her treatment towards the twins, which gives the twins even more of a reason to suspect that she is an imposter. Throughout the film, the twins try to reveal the person underneath and figure out what has happened to their actual mother as they start to notice even more strange behavior from The Mother. Things take a sudden turn once Elias and Lukas fully convince themselves that she is not their mother, which ensues psychological and emotional torture between the mother and the twins.
Goognight Mommy’s gore factor is completely surrounded by emotional and physical cruelty. Although the film doesn’t depict many instances of blood and guts, other aspects make the audience cringe and even feel uncomfrotable. The Mother getting her lips and eyes sealed with super glue, then having Elias cut her lips open is the main gore factor in the film. Other uncomfortable factos include The Mother burning alive, The Mother eating the roach in her sleep, and The Mother getting her face burnt with a magnefying glass. Overall, The Mother is the main source of all “gore”.
The Grave Review
Goodnight Mommy is a film that breaks psychological and emotional bonds whereas most horror movies fail to do in a successful way. The entire theme of Goodnight Mommy, as stated by Franz and Fiala, is miscommunication. After coming to terms with this, it is much easier to understand the film as a whole as well as understanding why the mother and the twins continuously get into situations that create animosity and struggle. The film also has a confusion and eeriness to it from strange encounters that the twins have with the mother. The audience is unsure as to why the mother is doing such odd and off putting things that sway the twins into believing she is an imposter. Multiple times can the audience find themselves supporting the twins but also going back to questioning if the woman is actually their mother. Neither side acts rational which is how Franz and Fiala play with the audience’s judgement.
The only aspects that made the film come down from its high horse is the fact that there are a few unanswered questions that can bug the average viewer. Why were the twins left alone while the mother got reconstructive surgery? For how long? There is a mention of a divorse and an accident, but why did this send the mother to get plastic surgery? Why weren’t the twins in school? These questions remain unanswered where perhaps they should have gotten at least a small nod towards.
The ending, above all, reveals to the audience just how easily disillusioned we were next to Elias. It is theorized that the death of
his twin brother and best friend, as well as the miscommunication between Elias and his mother and the abandoment while his mother was getting plastic surgery, drove Elias insane to. In all, due to the psychologically unnerving plot and very well executed shock factor ending,
This film is a must see for any horror/psychological thriller enthusiasts.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Goodnight Mommy (2014) receives three graves.
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