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Goodnight Mommy is Creepy, Scary, and Fun

Goodnight Mommy tells the story of two creepy, nine year old twin boys questioning whether or not the woman living in their house is actually their mother. When the woman claiming to be their mother arrives home after major surgery, the dynamic of their home changes dramatically and the boys become increasingly certain that she is an imposter.

The trailer for Goodnight Mommy raised a lot of eyebrows upon its release and even inspired a series of reaction videos via YouTube. After checking out not only the trailer but the film in its entirety, I can safely say that the hype was a bit excessive. The film is very good but it’s not nearly as weird or gross as I was expecting. From the trailer reaction videos, I was gearing up to watch the most shocking and mortifying film of our generation. In reality, Goodnight Mommy packs some intense scares but it isn’t going to scare the pants off you or change the way you live your life. In terms of pound for pound scares, I think It Follows and The Guest are scarier than Goodnight Mommy but that’s not to say that it isn’t well worth checking out.

Goodnight Mommy

The film stars Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, and Lukas Schwarz. It is directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. The pair also penned the screenplay together. The screenplay is well written and delivers an entertaining premise. While it’s not entirely original and vaguely derivative of a series of other horror films, the performances and atmosphere are strong enough to sustain viewer interest for the entirety of the film’s runtime.

The success or failure of the film really rests on Elias and Lukas Schwarz’s shoulders and they don’t disappoint. They are creepy and on point. Susanne Wuest is also very effective as the boy’s mother. There’s not a lot of spoken word in the film, so its sucess is particularly reliant on the body language and subtle exchanges between the characters. Fortunately, everyone involved does a commendable job of bringing these characters to life.

Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz masterfully deliver a high level of ambiance. The film continuously ratchets up the tension until the big reveal in the epic third act. While some people may predict the twist before it’s revealed (I did), that shouldn’t take away form your enjoyment of the film. There’s enough going on outside the twist to sustain interest in the picture (even for repeat viewings). A lot of feature films that feature a major twist in the third act put all their eggs in that basket but that’s not the case here. Goodnight Mommy would still function fairly well as a creepy thriller sans twist.

Goodnight MommyOne thing that really impressed me about this film is that it’s masterfully simplistic. It’s set at a single location with three main characters and very few supporting players. This provides a sense of claustrophobic confinement that only serves to further the sense of tension for the viewer.

As for the level of gore, Goodnight Mommy isn’t particularly violent, at least not by the standards of a horror fan, but what carnage does transpire onscreen appears to have been done practically and it looks good. The scenes of violence invoke a sense of Cronenbergian body horror that should very much delight horror enthusiasts.

I would absolutely recommend checking out Goodnight Mommy as soon as you get a chance. It is in theaters today. It will hit VOD outlets November 24, 2015.


Director(s): Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Writer(s): Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz
Stars: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, and Lukas Schwarz
Release: September 11, 2015
Studio/ Production Co: Radius TWC
Language: German
Length: 99 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Body Horror, Thriller

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Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
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