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.
One 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.
WICKED RATING: 7/10
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
Length: 99 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Body Horror, Thriller