In horror-thriller, Goodnight Mommy, twin boys, Elias and Lukas are sent to live with their estranged mother. The boys have not seen their absent parent for a while, and during their time apart, their relationship has become somewhat broken.
When the twins arrive at their mother’s house, they find she is cold, uncaring, and distant. She also appears to be recovering from a medical procedure, which causes her face to be covered by a surgical mask, making her look a little unrecognisable.
After a couple of days in her presence, Elias and Lukas become convinced this woman is not their mother. She is far removed from the person they once remembered, and they begin to believe she must be an imposter.
But if this woman is not who she says she is, then who is she? And more importantly, where is their real mother?
Directed by Matt Sobel, Goodnight Mommy stars Naomi Watts, and Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti. The movie is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now, having landed on the service on Friday.
If the premise of the movie sounds a little familiar, that’s because Goodnight Mommy is an American remake of an Austrian horror movie. The original movie (Ich Seh, Ich Seh), was released back in 2014, was well received by critics and audiences alike, and was therefore deemed perfect for the English-language remake treatment.
So, before I go any further, those who have seen the original movie may want to know the answer to one very important question: If you’ve watched the original, do you need to bother with the remake? The answer: You don’t NEED to watch this new version, as it charts the same course as the one before, but it certainly won’t frustrate, annoy, or bore you.
Goodnight Mommy is a pretty decent remake. Sure, those familiar with the first version will know the story inside out, so no major plot changes here I’m afraid, but there is enough creepiness to make this worth viewing.
As for those not familiar with its Austrian counterpart, this new US helping is something to take a look at. The film is built around a central mystery, which is perfectly strung out, very well handled by the main cast, and reaches its zenith at just the right moment.
Naomi Watts is the big name attached to this movie, and she is very good as the seemingly cold and callous mother who haunts this picture. Watts spends a significant amount of the film with her facial expressions obscured by a mask, and yet she gives a great and mysterious performance.
The actress manages to convey a sense of menace and danger throughout the movie, often making use of movement to sell her character. She positions herself in such a way that it becomes unclear if she is the villain of the piece, or merely someone who is misunderstood, and this becomes key to telling this story.
Watts is ably backed by identical twins, Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, who play the roles of Elias and Lukas, respectively. Both are great little actors, and they sell the heck out of their parts.
In terms of the horror, the film isn’t filled with jump scares and there’s no blood, guts, or gore – this is a movie built around suspense and atmosphere. It is a picture designed to get under the skin, to cause concern and anguish, but also one which can take the audience on a journey.
There is plenty of drama in the piece, and a couple of emotional beats which may pull at the heartstrings. It is also a film that wants to give you something to think about once it is all over, with an open invitation for a rewatch should you feel the need.
All-in-all, Goodnight Mommy is a dark movie, which ticks plenty of boxes and is a real treat for newcomers. It doesn’t surpass the original, nor does it offer a huge number of differences (although it does have some moments), but it works, and it works well.
If you’re after a spot of horror this weekend, then be sure to take a look at Goodnight Mommy. Turn the lights off, throw yourself into the movie, and see what you think.