DVD Review: Goodnight Mommy
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Goodnight Mommy
DVD | Blu-ray
Director: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Writers: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Cast: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
Distributor: RADiUS
Rated R | 99 Minutes
Release Date: December 1, 2015

Written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Goodnight Mommy is horror film selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

After undergoing cosmetic facial surgery, a mother (Susanne Wuest, Judas Goat) returns to her isolated lake house and her ten-year-old twins, Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz). Swathed in bandages, only the mother’s eyes and mouth are visible. After she begins to exhibit strange behavior, the twins suspect the woman in bandages isn’t who she says she is.

Their suspicions are confirmed when the boys discover an old photograph of their mother with a mystery woman who shares similar physical traits. Believing that the woman living in their house is an impostor, the twins tie her to the bed and refuse to let the woman go until she tells them where their real mother is. But what if she really is their mother? How can she convince them?

An interesting amalgam of movies like Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, Goodnight Mommy is an arthouse horror-thriller that is as disquieting as it is suspenseful. Franz and Fiala have crafted an intense and uneasy experience with haunting imagery that lingers long after the film’s shocking conclusion.

Terrence Malick cornfields and Lars von Trier forests merge to form a nightmarish landscape that serves as Elias and Lukas’s playground. Feral cats sleep among the bones of a hundred dead things, Madagascar hissing cockroaches find warmth inside human bodies, and perhaps most horrific of all, two boys tie their mother to a bed and seal her mouth with super glue.

It’s been a great year for the horror genre. From It Follows, Spring, and We Are Still Here to What We Do in the Shadows, Creep, and Deathgasm, there’s been something truly awesome for every subset of horror fan out there. Goodnight Mommy is yet another noteworthy entry in 2015’s horror slate, a film that forgoes cheap scare tactics in favor of a slow burn, ratcheting up the tension to create genuine dread.

Susanne Wuest and Elias and Lukas Schwarz turn in great performances, and the cinematography by Martin Gschlacht (Revanche) is both sinister and sublime. Franz and Fiala’s Goodnight Mommy is a must-see for horror fans and one of the most unique (and polarizing) films of the year. Those expecting an extreme experience like Haute Tension, Martyrs, or A Serbian Film will most likely be disappointed. This isn’t gory torture porn, it’s a psychological thriller that is more concerned with manipulating the mind than disfiguring the body.

From Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS, Goodnight Mommy is now available on Blu-ray and DVD and includes the special feature, “A Conversation with Filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala.”


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