Title – Goodnight Mommy “Ich seh ich she” (2014)
Directors – Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (Kern)
Cast – Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, Susanne Wuest
Plot – After their mother returns home after having facial surgery, twin brothers Lukas and Elias (played by the Schwarz’s) start to suspect that the lady under the bandages may not be who she says she is.
“She’s so different”
Review by Eddie on 25/07/2016
An eerie and foreboding horror/thriller that makes your skin crawl but not enough to make its many faults truly worthwhile, Austrian film and festival darling Goodnight Mommy as directed by duo Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz is a slowly paced and menacing experience that wastes an intriguing premise in a slow burn that will likely be remade in the coming years with an upped ante and hopefully equally creepy twins.
A horror film that builds off the what if or what’s happening questions rather than the doings and showings, Goodnight Mommy starts off in skin crawling fashion as our two young protagonists and twin boys Elias and Lukas begin to suspect their beloved mother may not be the mother they had before she went in for a medical procedural that has now covered her face with bandages and masked a possible hidden entity behind the wrappings of her facial coverings but the films snail like pacing and eventual culmination of events don’t wrap the film up in a sufficient manner that leaves us the viewer wondering if there is in fact a better way to do this story.
Fiala and Franz certainly elicit fine performances from both Lukas and Elias Schwarz and the two make for some of modern cinemas most creepy and memorable kids (makeshift arrows, beetle collections) but the way in which the boys arcs grow becomes a little too much to bare and seemingly simple story elements are brushed over in a manner that suggests Fiala and Franz were keen to slowly build up to wince inducing shocks rather than develop their story in a meaningful manner and with a lack of answers towards questions we start to ask as the narrative edges on it’s a journey that leaves us wanting rather than giving us the goods even though the films big twist is a nicely formed scenario.
Far from the worst horror hybrid of recent times and clearly an effective genre entry for many the world over, Goodnight Mommy has great potential that is sometimes reached here but will hopefully be reached in a more fulfilling manner down the track with a likely American redoing, something that you don’t often say when talking about Hollywood remakes.
2 ½ water logged cats out of 5