19 items from 2015
Austrian actress Susanne Wuest galvanized international audiences at the Venice Festival last year in horror pic “Goodnight Mommy.” Since then, the 35-year-old thesp had more than half a dozen projects either in the can or on her agenda, including Gore Verbinski’s horror-mystery “A Cure for Wellness,” which she’s currently filming.
First Act: Wuest grew up in rural Austria, with no TV in the home, she says. “When my parents took me to the theater for the first time, it was overwhelming, and I saw that’s what I wanted to do. It didn’t make them very happy!”
Fearless Flier: After high school, Wuest joined Vienna’s Volkstheater. “When you are 18 or 19, you have such faith in things. I just showed up and asked to work there, and they took me in. But it’s not something I would do now,” she laughs. She’s worked with top Austrian directors, »
- Carole Horst
Goodnight Mommy, 2015.
Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don’t recognize.
Goodnight Mommy definitely has a tonal identity crisis, but that doesn’t take much away from what is an effectively unnerving experience. For roughly an hour of its hundred minute running time, Goodnight Mommy indulges in abstract horror, containing many lucid dream sequences depicting unnatural behavior, and striking imagery meant to keep viewers unsure of what is actually going on before the big third act reveal.
The problem with this isn’t so much that artistic direction is abandoned for a more straightforward, boisterous finale ending with a bang, but that the twist is more of a confirmation of your first suspicion »
- Robert Kojder
It’s hard to discuss what truly makes Goodnight Mommy such a powerhouse cinematic experience without revealing some of the ingenious twists to it; suffice to say, very rarely does a film come along that leaves my proverbial jaw on the floor, but such is the case with this Austrian thriller from directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, who have crafted a film that’s thoughtful, intense and wrought with emotion and palpable tension throughout. Without a doubt, Goodnight Mommy is truly one of the best pure horror films of 2015.
Goodnight Mommy follows twin brothers Lukas and Elias (played by Lukas and Elias Schwarz) as they eagerly await the return of their mother (Susanne Wuest), who has been undergoing radical cosmetic surgery. When she returns, her face is completely bandaged and her disposition is chilly and confrontational with her children. Suspecting that the woman in their home is not their mother, »
- Heather Wixson
Arriving in theaters this weekend is Goodnight Mommy, the stunning psychological thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. The story follows twins Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz) as they await the arrival of their mother (Susanne Wuest), who has been away undergoing radical cosmetic surgery. Once she’s home, the siblings begin to suspect the woman that has returned is not their mother but someone who has taken her place, and the family is soon embroiled in a struggle for power and truth as the boys set out to uncover what really happened to their mom.
Daily Dead recently had the opportunity to speak with Fiala and Franz about Goodnight Mommy and heard from the duo on how reality television inspired their arthouse horror film, their experiences collaborating with their two younger co-stars, and much more. Look for Goodnight Mommy in theaters on Friday courtesy of RADiUS-twc. »
- Heather Wixson
Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's buzzed-about horror film "Goodnight Mommy" hits select theaters today -- and to entice you into their dark world, HitFix is premiering an exclusive clip that sees twins Lukas and Elias (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) walking on eggshells around their mother (Susanne Wuest), who has just returned from getting extensive cosmetic surgery. It's a scene that's representative of the film's slow-burning dread, before the plot builds to a truly shocking climax. Here's the official synopsis: Twin boys who do everything together, from collecting beetles to feeding stray cats, welcome their mother home after her reconstructive surgery. But with her face wrapped in bandages, and her demeanor distant, they grow suspicious of her identity. Watch the clip above and below. You can check out my interview with the filmmakers here, and view the official trailer here. »
- Chris Eggertsen
It's been awhile since a horror trailer captured the public imagination as strongly as "Goodnight Mommy's," which has inspired endless YouTube reaction videos and hyperbolic headlines proclaiming it "the scariest trailer of all time." The film itself is less extreme than the hype would suggest; belying its unintended reputation, it is less a wall-to-wall shocker than a quiet, slow-burning exercise in dread that builds to a truly horrifying finale. What I was most struck by, however, was how much the film moved me with its story of ten-year-old twin boys (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) who become convinced that their post-cosmetic surgery mother (Susanne Wuest) is an impostor. "Goodnight Mommy" is also very good, and the critical community seems to agree: the film has racked up a number of impressive reviews and was recently chosen by Austria as the country's official entry at the 2016 Academy Awards. I sat down with writer »
- Chris Eggertsen
Mom Without a Face: Fiala/Franz’s Fiction Debut a Mesmerizing Slice of Psychological Horror
Once you’re made aware that Goodnight Mommy is the fictional directorial debut from directing tandem Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (partner to and writer of the works of Ulrich Seidl). A delightfully perverse purveyor of Austrian social dysfunction, you’ll know to expect something kind of twisted and bizarre. Fiala/Franz certainly delivers with an eerie portrait of identical twin horror that will eventually rank as one of the more notable titles in the slim subgenre. Effectively grotesque and downright chilling by the time it spits out its final frames, Franz unleashes her own brand of sinister familial interactions that proves to surpass even Seidl’s cynical worldview.
In the isolated Austrian countryside, nine-year-old twins Lukas and Elias (Lukas and Elias Schwarz) live alone with their mother (Susanne Wuest). Recently, she’s undergone cosmetic surgery, »
- Nicholas Bell
To any hopeful parents who are planning on starting a family sooner than later, here’s my warning – don’t watch Goodnight Mommy. Not yet, at least.
There’s something so inherently unnerving about a horror movie that relies heavily on children, because kids are supposed to be full of innocence and wonder – the perfect guise for pure, seething evil. When you see a child, happy thoughts of doing no wrong immediately pop into your head. We wouldn’t dare imagine children doing the unspeakable, right? Children Can’T be evil, because we’ve Convinced ourselves they can’t be.
So what if children Can be evil? Or worse, what if they don’t actually know the moral implications of actions that are simply a result of their blurry, juvenile fantasies?
Goodnight Mommy is no Pet Sematary or Who Can Kill A Child?, where children are turned into bloodthirsty murderers who kill without remorse, »
- Matt Donato
I saw "Goodnight Mommy" completely cold in 2014, when Fantastic Fest's Tim League dropped this shocking piece of auteur horror like a bomb onto the fest's secret screening-goers. It's a sick movie, often brilliant, without hope or redemption. The film opens with plenty of atmospheric portent, as the camera slithers through a cornfield in an isolated natural world suggestive of a fairy tale, before introducing Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz), identical adolescent twins who look like the pin-up children of the Third Reich, who aren't convinced that their chilly, (also) blonde mother (Susanne Wuest) is really who she says she is. Read More: Iceland, Jordan, Netherlands Books 2016 Foreign Oscar Entries While garden variety American horror movies aren't prude about turning children into harbingers of evil (take for example almost any contemporary Us horror movie) "Goodnight Mommy" goes to even further, more horrifying lengths to propose that children could »
- Ryan Lattanzio
RADiUS-twc, the distributor who brought is acclaimed genre films like It Follows, The One I love and Snowpiercer, is releasing another well loved and creepy as hell flick in September called Goodnight Mommy. The Austrian thriller directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz is about a famous television actress (Susanne Wuest) who returns home after a stay in the hospital for cosmetic surgery — and her twin 9-year-old sons (Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz) believe that she is an impostor and plan on doing something about it.
Goodnight Mommy which opens on Sept. 11 h [Continued ...] »
Horror genre fans have learned, over the years, to keep an eye on the festival circuit for exciting new releases, with Adam Wingard’s 2013 feature You’re Next and David Robert Mitchell’s 2015 film It Follows standing as two of the more recent examples of films that started generating buzz from audience appreciation at film festivals. The upcoming Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy is poised to be the next in that trend, having played last year at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals, and this year at the Seattle International Film Festival, Karlovy Vary, and the Fantasia Film Festival. Also called Ich Seh, Ich Seh, the film’s synopsis is as follows.
In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The »
- Deepayan Sengupta
In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine-year old twin brothers await their mother’s return. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before and the children start to doubt whether this woman is actually who she says she is. What ensues is a terrifying observational struggle with fatal consequences.
- Gary Collinson
"She's so different." Radius-twc has debuted the official Us trailer for Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz's Goodnight Mommy, a psychological horror thriller from Austria about a mom and her two insane sons. It's another story about how bad kids can be, but this one is a bit more twisted, involving some really freaky happenings in their nice countryside home. Austrian actress Susanne Wuest plays "Die Mutter", or The Mother, with Elias Schwarz & Lukas Schwarz as the boys. I saw this film as part of New Directors/New Films in NYC, and it's solid and thrilling, but it honestly didn't scare me. Maybe that's just me. Take a look. Here's the official trailer for Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz's Goodnight Mommy, found on YouTube: In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine year old twin brothers await their mother’s return. When she comes home, »
- Alex Billington
"Goodnight Mommy" is the feature directorial debut of Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, and if this new trailer is any indication, oh god help me is this going to be scary. I find the concept of family members turning against their own particularly terrifying -- and especially a mother turning against her own children -- so you can imagine that the premise of a woman covered in post-facelift bandages menacing her 9-year-old twin sons might strike a nerve with me. The cockroach bit near the end is the money shot here, but just seeing the titular "Mommy" (Susanne Wuest) silently walk around an eerily-lit, isolated country home is enough to make me quiver. Honestly, I can hardly deal with this. Here's the plot summary: In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. »
- Chris Eggertsen
Read More: New Directors/New Films: 'Goodnight Mommy' Is an Arthouse Shocker Best Seen Cold Masks, twins, forestry and bugs have all been in horror films before, but that doesn't mean they'll ever get old. Written and directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, "Goodnight Mommy" uses all of those tropes to great use, making for one unnerving horror film. Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz star. The official synopsis reads: "In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine year old twin brothers await their mother's return. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before and the children start to doubt whether this woman is actually who she says she is. What ensues is a terrifying struggle with fatal consequences on par with 'The Shining' and 'Dead Ringers.'" "Goodnight Mommy" will be released on September 11. Check »
- Ethan Sapienza
Earlier this week, we gave you details on first wave of special experiences and events taking place at the 2015 Stanley Film Festival. We now have details on their impressive slate of features, short films, and additional special events, including screenings of The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation, and We Are Still Here.
We're teaming up with the festival for live coverage and special opportunities for Daily Dead readers, so be sure to check back all month for contests, features, and more.
"April 2, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today its Closing Night film, Festival lineup and the 2015 Master of Horror. The Festival will close out with The Final Girls. The film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, is the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, »
- Jonathan James
Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's Goodnight Mommy starring Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz and Susanne Wuest, produced by Ulrich Seidl is the corner of your mind where Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Georges Franju, Damien Hirst and Michael Haneke meet in Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (Hausu) and invite Gregor Samsa to converge with the von Trapp family.
After a short prelude in the form of a clip from an Austrian version of the Sound Of Music story, starring Ruth Leuwerik, we settle into the country house of a woman (Wuest) who has just undergone extensive facial surgery. Her twin sons, Lukas and Elias, are seen spending the time on the grounds around the isolated house.
Hello Mommy Susanne Wuest: »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz's artful, violent, elegant and excruciating "Goodnight Mommy" is a doozy of a movie, constructed with icy visual exactness in superb 35mm. (Trailer below.) The film opens with plenty of atmospheric portent, as the camera slithers through a cornfield in an isolated natural world suggestive of a fairy tale, before introducing Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz), identical adolescent twins who look like the pin-up children of the Third Reich, who aren't convinced that their chilly, (also) blonde mother (Susanne Wuest) is really who she says she is. Following some sort of facial surgery, she returns to their ultramodern country home—so austerely manicured that it resembles the work of a psychotic interior decorator—with her face swaddled terrifyingly in gauze save for the eyes. Mummification aside, she's not the twins' angelic mother of yore but now a much bitchier, domineering changeling who locks »
- Ryan Lattanzio
What measure of true grit does it take to interweave separate worlds? In truth, how do we imagine to know that what is set apart does not belong together? Delving into the haphazardly changing depths of identity, a noteworthy trio of cinematic graces is up to the task of responding, even if forming their own questions in reply. As quintessences perform a number of feats, teasingly flickering before our eyes in Eskil Vogt's Blind, meandering through the seemingly shallow waters of Fellipe Barbosa's Casa Grande, and burning to death in overbearing doubt culminating Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh, Ich seh), the rollercoaster of human frailty never once pulls to a stop.
Deftly swishing the t(r)ail of the narrative's many endings and beginnings, Vogt's feature debut eloquently embodies his screenwriting skills as previously witnessed in hushed, attentive collaborations with director Joachim Trier. »
- Ivana Miloš
19 items from 2015
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