Movie Review: GOODNIGHT MOMMY (2015)

A few months ago, I had received a message from a friend of mine asking me if I had seen the trailer for a new foreign horror movie called “Goodnight Mommy.”  I informed them that I hadn’t in which they immediately sent me a link to the trailer.  I will say that that trailer was easily one of the most creepy and unsettling movie trailers I had ever seen.  For months I was obsessing about this movie. A few weeks ago I found out that a special screening was premiering in Los Angeles and that I was going to be able to go. I’m happy to report that “Goodnight Mommy” did not disappoint!

For those of you who are not sure what “Goodnight Mommy” is, its an Austrain foreign horror film by directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz starring Susanne Wuest (as the mother) and Lukas and Elias Schwarz (as the twin boys). Here is a brief synopsis of the movie (via IMDB): “In the heat of the summer, a lonesome house in the countryside between woods and cornfields, lives nine-year-old twin brothers who are waiting for their mother.  When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before.  The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother.  It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust.”

“Goodnight Mommy,” is a breath of fresh air.  As of late, there has been a slew of horror movies hitting the big screen, and though some of them are fun and creepy they don’t leave much of an impact.  “Goodnight Mommy” is like a punch in the stomach and you are waiting for the duration of the film to get air back into your lungs.  “Goodnight Mommy” may not be the most original horror film out there but it keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire film and makes you second guess what exactly is going on. A mark of a great horror film is one that doesn’t need to heavily rely on gore and cheap jump scares but instead raise the level of tension with every passing minute to the point where you begin to feel uncomfortable and unsure of what is actually going on.  “Goodnight Mommy” does this effectively.

I really enjoyed this movie – the tension was palpable, the cinematography was beautiful, the acting was believable and on-point, and the scenery was stunning.  However, the only thing that was a mark against the film was that they gave away the ending early on.  Had they not done that, this movie would have received a perfect score.  I understand what they were trying to do with the film, and it’s something that is incredibly difficult to pull off, so I give them props for trying.  Even though that was their downfall I think horror fans will enjoy everything that “Goodnight Mommy” has to offer.

With all that said, here is my final score/review of the film:

Story/Concept: 1
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: 1
Atmosphere: 2
Rewatchability: 1

TOTAL: 7/10

If you are looking for a movie that is going to keep you on the edge of the seat, and offers more than just your average jump scare, I highly suggest seeing “Goodnight Mommy” (out in theaters – limited release – September 11)

Shannon McGrew
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