Goodnight Mommy is about two young twin boys who live in a countryside house with their actress mom, and spend most of their waking hours playing together. Their mother has just had surgery and her face is covered in bandages, rendering her unrecognizable to the twins. They become convinced that the woman who has returned from surgery is not their real mother.

The tone, style and atmosphere of the piece blend cohesively to create feelings of unease and creepiness from the first frame to the last. Lacking any background soundtrack for most the film and any real over-the-top scares, it still has quite a few very disturbing moments especially in the last ten minutes or so.

But ‘Goodnight Mommy’ is a glaring example of a twist-gone-wrong and how it can totally ruin a movie. A huge twist is revealed extremely early in Goodnight Mommy and has the subtly of a sledgehammer. It’s too bad because something like this really ruined the ride for me since I was just waiting for the revelation. Some people might be able to look past this and continue to focus on the overall mystery of who is their mother? But for me, it was a major blow.

I’m not saying the movie was garbage, it’s not, it has quite a bit of tense/eerie moments to offer. Not to mention the overall atmosphere/tone of the movie is quite bleak. All of which pave the way for the creepy mommy mystery narrative, who is this woman and is she their mother or not? It’s such a simple yet frightening idea that it’s hard not to admire such a nerve-wrecking premise.

This storyline has far more subtly to it than the other twist I was talking about before. The moment we meet the woman you can tell something is off and may not be who she says she is. She’s harsh, scary, and cryptic, all of which helps distract from the other obvious part of the narrative. And while the final third of the movie may move into mild torture porn, it’s not all bad, especially when it is quite shocking.

In the third act it got very repetitive and seemed to drag out so the film could be at least 90 minutes long. The actions of some characters are questionable. For example, during one scene the red cross shows up at the family’s house and knock on the door, looking for donations. No one answers the door so they just walk in and look around the house to see if anyone is home.  I get that this scene was supposed to build tension but it did not work for me. I personally didn’t find the movie scary, nothing like the level of terror the trailer promised, I see the movie as being more of a psychological mystery than anything else.

Goodnight Mommy gets a 7.1/10.

Advertisements

Written by Dani

Gallego/Español 🇪🇸 | Writer & Director for Film | Editor in Chief of http://Shoton35.com | Supporter of Celta de Vigo | Fan of DC Comics & Vertigo

6 comments

  1. I liked this movie.Sure, there was lot of violence which is kind of porn, but it was cinematically brilliant.
    The twist that you are talking about – do you mean the brief shot on the lake, in the beginning. If so, I must say, it didnt really bother me. I was more curious about the real identity of the mother and that is what the movie focused on.

    Like

  2. Yes and also you just notice the other brother is not interacting with the mother. It was just to obvious to me and it felt out of place in some way, if that makes sense. True, that was the main thing that I loved about it, finding out who the hell she was. Thanks for reading btw !!

    Like

    1. For me, after that lake shot, I was made to forget that scene pretty fast, because the movie was really engaging. I doubted the other child might have something to do with the mothers operation, and hence the distance between them. It is only later we are shown, the face sketches making us realise its a cosmetic surgery, right? Also, once the children were back in home after playing and the mother starts behaving weird, I got really hooked up about her identity, rather than they twins..
      Excellent Blog you have. I have been using it for reference, to find International movies to watch, for some time now. Thank you.

      Like

      1. Once again, you’re right. But I keep getting back to the point of why putting that in the movie at all if it ain’t your main focus on the movie and why make it so obvious. It bothered me in some way because there are a lot of scenes where death plays around the kid’s world but doesn’t quite see it or understand it (like the cave of skeletons which was my favourite scene). It would have been more affective if that scene in the beginning wasn’t that obvious in the first place. Don’t get me wrong the movie is engaging and damn well made no doubt about that. But being a director myself I would have handled it differently to make it more engaging to the normal or experienced viewer.

        I thank you very much sir, appreciate that very much. I’ll try to do more in the future. You should try and watch the German movie ‘Victoria’ if possible. A very cool 2 and half hour one shot experiment 🙂

        Like

      2. 🙂 Sir, You are the first director(hurray) who is every commenting back to me. Thank you.

        I understand your view point. It simply worked for me. I think these days directors like to confuse and mislead the viewers as much as possible, dont they, a la Enemy.

        I have already noted, Victoria from your review. Waiting to find a good one though. (For us Indians, torrents are the only way to watch International cinema. We are simply flooded with horrible Hollywood ones)

        All the best Sir.

        Like

      3. Hahahah I feel your pain my man. I live in Amsterdam and since two years ago we have a new film museum that focuses on international cinema. Got lucky to see ‘Victoria’ and many others there.

        All the best to you too sir, and once again thanks for following!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s