A movie doesn’t always have to jump out of the shadows to scare the bejeezus out of you. Sometimes unease produces better results when it’s kept on a low, extended simmer. This happens to be the case for the Austrian psychological thriller, Goodnight Mommy.
Twin boys welcome their mother home from the hospital but she’s unrecognizable under bandages. Her demeanor has also changed greatly from the loving Mom the boys remember. The twins convince themselves that she is NOT their mother after all, but where has she gone? How will they prove it? Even worse, what if they’re WRONG?
It’s clear from the start that something isn’t right in Goodnight Mommy, but it’s hard to tell what exactly is wrong. Mom definitely isn’t herself but the boys, who collect cockroaches and play in graveyards for fun, seem a bit OFF as well. Hints are dropped and a story slowly unravels until the moment you clutch the armrest and call out your profanity of choice (I think I went with “HOLY SH*TBALLS!”).
I can’t recommend Goodnight Mommy to those who need men in hockey masks or computer-generated monsters to be scared out of their seats. If you like your scary movies with a touch of art, creepy cornfields and loads of melancholia though, Goodnight Mommy is the film for you. -B
Goodnight Mommy is playing at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas. You can look for those tickets HERE.