Sunday, November 8, 2015
Indie Review: Goodnight Mommy (2015)
'Goodnight Mommy' Terrifies Even When Watched In The Light Of Day
You got to love those Europeans. When American horror films fail us, we can count on those from across the pond to remind us the genre isn't dead. Even of they take a familiar story or plot twist, they still find a way to reinvent it. How do they do it?
Goodnight Mommy follows the story of two brothers named Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz) whose mother has returned from receiving cosmetic surgery with her face all bandaged. But it turns out that their mother is acting differently than before, making them wonder whether she really is their mother at all.
I'll start off by discussing the cinematography. What I loved about what the cinematographer Martin Gschlacht does is how he consistently keeps all three main characters in the dark. Not only does that create an uneasy feeling, but it creates a visual deception, making you wonder who is completely evil and who is not.
I also thought it was neat how there is almost no music or sound effects and because of that, as well as how your mind creates certain events that take place, it brings back memories of films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre which is almost a bloodless film yet is still remembered as one of the bloodiest films ever. This kind of constriction is thanks to the direction and writing by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. Not only do they create an unsettling atmosphere by making you wonder who is the bigger villain by having the mother and the children act out of the ordinary, but there is also a big reveal at the end that is slightly familiar yet pulled off in a different manner.
Lastly, I'll get into the performances. I thought the kids did a very nice job and Susanne Wuest who plays the mother. Even when Wuest has the bandages wrapped around her head, she was still quite unsettling and that is a great testament to her acting ability.
Overall, Goodnight Mommy is an unsettling and atmospheric yet incredibly well-crafted horror gem that brings back fond memories of classic fare like The Shining and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.