Logline: When a woman returns home from reconstructive face surgery, her two twin boys become convinced that she is not their real mother.
Review: 2014 was a great year for horror films with such masterful titles as The Babadook, It Follows, and Goodnight Mommy, which made its U.S. debut this year. Written and directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, Goodnight Mommy is a brilliant psychological horror that lingers in the mind and leaves much to interpretation.
Deliberately paced with little dialogue, Goodnight Mommy leaves you guessing from one moment to the next. The film’s sustained level of ambiguity is one of its greatest strengths.
The performances are top notch. Making their feature film debut, Lukas and Elias Schwartz are truly remarkable and carry the weight of the film.
Set on the Austrian countryside, Goodnight Mommy is visually stunning with some beautiful shot compositions. The 35mm cinematography by Martin Gschlacht is gorgeous.
The film’s finale is uncompromisingly intense and is bound to make you squirm. Once the film ends, there is much to ponder and many questions are left unanswered. Many viewers will find this frustrating, but if you look closely, all the necessary answers are there.
One thing is certain. Goodnight Mommy is a masterful exercise in psychological horror and needs to be seen to be believed. It is a haunting, unsettling, and cerebral experience that you will never forget.
Rating (out of ****): ****