Directed by | Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Produced by | Ulrich Seidl
Written by | Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Starring | Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
Run Time | 100 minutes
Certificate | 15
Plot | When a once warm, caring mother returns from cosmetic surgery, she is seemingly a different person. To her identical twin sons, the change is drastic – could be be an imposter?
Review | Smarter, artier horrors are seemingly the in thing. The Babadook, The Witch, Stoker, and It Follows all juxtapose beautifully framed shots with an underlying tension that permeates through to the audience. Goodnight Mommy is one of the better examples to come about in recent years.
There is a deliberate pace to Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s frighful pseudo-folk tale, though it is never dull. Indeed, the quieter, more reflective moments of the film only serve to highlight the creepy, bizarre situation the family have found themselves in.
Part of the brilliance of Goodnight Mommy is the the ability of the directors to position the twins and the mother simultaneously as protagonists and antagonists. Is this really an imposter? Or should we feel for the mother, whose children seem to have turned against her?
All is revealed (well, enough) in a bloody, violent final act. There’s a revelation or two that most will probably deduce, though it doesn’t lessen the impact of the denouement.
Goodnight Mommy wouldn’t be the tense rollercoaster of looming ever increasing dread if it wasn’t for a good cast. Susanne Wuest and twins Elias and Lukas Schwartz all put in good, believable performances that help to elevate this to something all horror buffs should be checking out.
If you prefer your horror to be of a slightly artier persuasion – one that eschews jump scares in favour of the deliberately paced escalation of dread – then Goodnight Mommy is for you.
The Verdict | As impactful as it is artful, Goodnight Mommy is an upper echelon horror film.