Goodnight Mommy (2015)

goodnight-mommyOff we gallivant to Austria for this somewhat lackluster film, that falls victim to misleading US trailers, and some flimsy writing, lets chat about Goodnight Mommy.

Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don’t recognize.

Alright, so I will start positive here, as I like to do when I can. The actors portraying Elias and Lukas, Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz (you can figure out who played who I’m sure), are fantastic. Casting real twins in this really does make it that much more effective, and they both give excellent performances as the boys unsure of who this woman, claiming to be their mother, is. They deliver on the tense parts of the movie really well, and still manage to have a balance between their being children, and then being able to do what they do later on in the film.

Goodnight Mommy is a hard one to talk about without getting into spoiler territory, so I will be as vague as possible about the end of the film. What I will say is, based on the American trailer for this movie, this was not the movie that I expected to see. That’s not to say that it was bad as a result, but it’s tone and presentation really felt very different. A great example of this is a scene from the trailer that makes it look like the titular Mommy chomps down on a great big cockroach, but it’s actually two scenes, only one of which has anything to do with cockroaches. It’s also easy to think, from the trailer, that the mother has her face bandages on the whole movie, while in fact they come off in the first 40 minutes or so.

028709.png-c_640_360_x-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxx

Trailer issues aside, there’s the issue of the story itself, while it starts of strong and really makes you wonder if this woman is an impostor or not, the movie’s ending feels a bit unearned, and almost could have benefited from leaving things vague and uncertain. I know that we tend to give a pass to foreign movies, as a North American audience, because who doesn’t like to feel smart for watching a movie with subtitles? A great example being the only mediocre film High Tension, which gets touted around as MIND BLOWING all the time. Overall, this movie ends on a note that would be maligned in English-speaking movies, at least in my opinion, and feels a little bit unearned.

The film is effectively tense from the beginning, and does boast some very disturbing scenes that I’m sure people will be talking about, I wasn’t keen to floss after watching the flick for example. It’s also beautifully shot, each scene looks great and there is a lot of grim violence that is delivered in ways that don’t force you to stare at it like most horror films love to do. There’s power in what is happening off screen, which does seem to be a rarity these days.

goodnight-mommy (1)

At the end of the day, the movie is effective. It builds great tension, and does keep you wondering what is happening until the last few minutes. The ending just doesn’t work for me, and I do wonder what others will say or have said about it. My hopes might have been a little high, but it’s not one that I would tell you to skip. This one falls right down the middle for me, with good performances and cinematography but a story that falls a little bit flat in the end.

RATING: ***

Advertisements

3 responses to “Goodnight Mommy (2015)

  1. I really liked this movie. I thought it actually lived up to all the hype, unlike It Follows and The Babadook. I’m still trying to figure out the ending. Did you notice the woman? Was that the mom or the woman in the picture? I had to see The Sixth Sense three times before everything finally made sense!

    Like

    • See, I come down on the other side of that, I adored It Follows and The Babadook. This one fell a bit flat, and the ending didn’t work for me. I’m fairly certain that the woman was the image of the mother that Elias wanted. His family pre ‘the accident’

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that makes sense. I need to rewatch it. By reading tons of online reviews and comments about The Babadook, It Follows, and Goodnight Mommy, I’ve noticed people either love those movies or hate them. Not much middle ground. And I’m definatly in the minority when it comes to how I feel about them. Especially It Follows. A couple of people were pissed by my review! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s