In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine year old twin brothers await their mother’s return. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before and the children start to doubt whether this woman is actually who she says she is.
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★★★½ review by Daniel Rodriguez on Letterboxd
Goonight Mommy has one of the most chilling trailers of all time, according not only to me, but the whole internet as it seems. You should check it out if you haven't!
The movie is about young twin boys that start to question his mom's identity after a plastic surgery. What is so chilling about that? Firstly, it is the location. Everything happens pretty much all the time inside this isolated and empty house, where the two boys lurk and watch their mom's strange behavior day by day. The silence that permeates the whole movie is another creepy factor. The performances are also fantastic and the movie as a whole is beautifully shot and visually fascinating; there is a haunting atmosphere throughout Goodnight Mommy that was ultimately a cinematography achievement.
There are also the cockroaches, the most hateful creature on the universe. I don't like cockroaches. I hate cockroaches. I am slightly afraid of cockroaches.
The first half of the movie builds up a lot of the mistery and tension and I was loving it. I really like movies like The Babadook for instance, which have enough elements to hold multiple interpretations beyond the main theory or explanation. During the first hour, Goodnight Mommy looked like that kind of movie to me. Is there something wrong with the mother? Or maybe witg the kids? Is it supernatural? Or maybe just insanity?
Unfortunately for me, it suddenly became ridicuously obvious what was going on in there. I can't say if the idea was to reveal the mystery early on, or if I just anticipated it; the truth is I was really sad about getting the twist. And thinking back, paying more attention, the movie gives it all away pretty easy. I won't say that it ruined the movie, because I don't believe the twist is the only good quality of it. My experience with it was severely affected though.
As I've said, Goodnight Mommy looks amazing, it's chilling, unnerving, it has one of the scariest moments of 2015 and the acting is outstanding. I have seen such brilliant kid actors from all over the world nowadays, I am truly impressed! It should totally be on Eric Lees' "Movies That Get Batshit Insane/A Shocking Genre Shift" list!
And the best part? This is just the first movie of the directing duo! I most definitely recommend Goodnight Mommy!
★★★½ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd
I'm not one to ever really notice obvious major plot twists in films. Maybe I just don't try to figure it all out before the end to maximize enjoyment, or maybe I just am too dense to notice what's going on. Either way, while I can say that the plot of Goodnight Mommy is far from original, its execution had me glued to the screen.
First, I must say that the two kids in this film were absolutely brilliant. They seemed so comfortable in their part, and flowed quite well with the oscillating intensity that went with the film's tone. I've never quite seen child actors like these two perform with such supposed mastery, and they completely made the film. Their own psychological innocence is put on full display in this film, and successfully helped the director accomplish what he was attempting to do with his audience.
Goodnight Mommy is a film that takes its main focus and turns it on its side. We become so distracted by one focal plot point, that when the film takes a complete 180 it seems that much more intense and drastic. It essentially toys with expectations and feelings for 100 minutes, before dropping an intensely unexpected finale. The buildup was fantastically done, and the film probably would have fallen flat on its face had it not been for this.
I'll admit that there are a lot of things in Goodnight Mommy that have been used and reused in many more well-known films. But never before have I seen them all come together so well, with such an intense and satisfying buildup. It contains a masterfully spun story, with a near flawless execution. It may not be perfect, but it will definitely stick with me a lot longer than many modern horror films ever will.
★★★★ review by bree1981 on Letterboxd
Celluloid Screams 2015 Film # 2
A slow building Austrian horror film about 9 year old twin brothers living in an isolated house in the country who suspect that their Mother, who has just returned from cosmetic surgery, may not be who she says she is.
This movie relies on an eerie atmosphere and a constantly building sense of dread, it's another film that your never quite sure which way its going to go, are the boys imagining things or is there really something sinister about this woman who claims to be their Mother. There are various twist's and turns along the way (I managed to guess one of the bigger twists fairly early but I don't think it hurts the film and I still had no idea on the direction it would take) before the movie changes tact for the final act and turns into a more horrific prospect including featuring one of the nastiest scenes of the year.
The film is well performed from the 3 main stars with Lukas and Elias Schwarz who play the twins coming across as naturals in front of the camera, they often communicate with each other by just a look, innocent enough looking but with just that little bit of strangeness about them to come across as slightly creepy, the directors got the casting spot on.
Overall, this is a superbly made psychological horror film that can really get under your skin, it doesn't give you easy answers and I'm looking forward to seeing what the co-writers/directors come up with next.
★★★★★ review by Ghostsmut on Letterboxd
The problem with aggregate sites like Rotten Tomatoes is that when a film is going to be as polarising as this it gets an average score. And the trouble with an average score is you assume the film is average.
Goodnight Mommy is an incredible film. The premise is simple: two young boys live with their mum who has been in an accident. Her face is covered in a mask and this causes the boys to start to believe that she is not their mother and they decide to take action.
It's very arty. Very bleak. Very nasty. I can see why some people didn't like it - it's very slow and the nasty stuff is relatively close to the end and doesn't go on for as long as gorehounds may want. For me though, it's a perfect little film and sits well amongst the recent crop of excellent new horror that we've had of late (like Starry Eyed, It Follows, etc). I was thrown by how sadistic it was - a few years back when I was into my Martyrs, Kill List, Eden Lake type stuff this would have slotted right in but it's been awhile since I watched any of them and it really shook me.
For cat lovers a minor warning - there is a cat and it dies. That was hard to take as my 11 week old kitten was at the emergency vets when I watched it. My kitty (Squeezy McTufty) is back and all well again. Yay.
★★★½ review by Josh Larsen on Letterboxd
Creepy, assured, with amazing performances from the two kids. Another compelling exploration of the connection between grief and horror. Gets a bit sadistic for my taste in the final 20 minutes, but as they say, that's the point.
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