There’s something wrong with Mom.
In Adam Azimov’s recently-released short film GOODNIGHT DARLING, that’s the message given to the audience at the beginning…but it’s not the one we’re left with.
The film, presented by ALTER, is about a family coping with the recent and tragic loss of one of their own. The film opens with the family’s oldest daughter (played by AnnaSophia Robb) packing some boxes and babysitting her younger sister (played by Vivien Lyra Blair). Their family is getting ready to move after the death of the girls’ father.
The family is still mourning. And the little sister is afraid to go to sleep or turn her flashlight off because she saw their mother watching her…and she smelled different.
Downstairs, the older daughter talks to their mother (played by Lauren Bowles). Or, at least, she tries to. Mom is acting strangely: she’s unpacking boxes, putting things in strange places (like a potted plant in the refrigerator), and, most disturbingly of all, seems to think that their dad is coming home soon.
Is Mom just distracted by her grief? Or is there something else going on?
The short is only six minutes long. But Azimov and his cast of horror veterans (including April Lang) use every second wisely. The film utilizes sparse dialogue and meticulously constructed visuals created by Director of Photography Pawel Pogorzelski, whose other credits include Hereditary and Midsommar. GOODNIGHT DARLING has no jump scares and doesn’t have any gore. Everything about the film is subtle, from the way the loss of the father is presented (it’s never explicitly stated that he’s dead) to the various oddities about the mother…which makes the film even more terrifying and disturbing.
GOODNIGHT DARLING successfully draws the audience in, captivating us from the film’s creepy beginning all the way to its bone-chilling conclusion. The film is available to stream now on YouTube.