6.7/10
43,647
218 user 284 critic

Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Ich seh, Ich seh (original title)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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.

Writers:

Veronika Franz (screenplay), Severin Fiala (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,326 ( 696)
21 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lukas Schwarz Lukas Schwarz ... Lukas
Elias Schwarz Elias Schwarz ... Elias
Susanne Wuest ... Mutter
Hans Escher Hans Escher ... Priester
Elfriede Schatz Elfriede Schatz ... Rotkreuz Sammlerin
Karl Purker Karl Purker ... Rotkreuz Sammler
Georg Deliovsky Georg Deliovsky ... Pizzalieferant
Christian Steindl Christian Steindl ... Mesner
Christian Schatz Christian Schatz ... Bauer
Erwin Schmalzbauer Erwin Schmalzbauer ... Akkordeongott

Why Riley Keough Wasn’t Ready for ‘The Lodge’

Kevin Smith chats with Riley Keough at Sundance 2019, and she shares why she was fully unprepared for her first meeting with The Lodge directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz.

Watch our interview

Edit

Storyline

In the heat of the summer, a lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields, lives nine-year-old twin brothers who are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust. Written by Ulrich Seidl Film

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mother should look out for her sons.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it did not receive a nomination. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Lukas: What am I doing?
Elias: What's Lukas doing?
Mutter: But I can't see him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Stunt Roaches (Stuntschaben) = Matilda and Nermal (Mathilder und Nermal) See more »

Connections

Referenced in FoundFlix: As Above So Below (2014) (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Guten Abend, gute Nacht
Written by Johannes Brahms
Performed by Lukas Schwarz
Arranged by Alexander Schwarz
See more »

User Reviews

 
Absolutely stunning film, for fans of beautiful art horror.
6 July 2015 | by horrorinpureformSee all my reviews

Well this movie caught me completely off-guard. I had no idea what to expect given that this is the very first feature film of Austrian director duo Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz. 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...and I won't spoil the rest.

If you have any interest in cinema as an art form, Goodnight Mommy is an absolute must-see. It is the most beautifully shot film I've seen since Under the Skin. Each shot is framed in such a meticulous and perfectly orchestrated way that you could pause the film at any time and end up with a still worthy of hanging on your wall. I've never seen a director put Venetian blinds to such diverse and good use, especially the nighttime shots of them, it made natural movement look slithery and creepy.

The most haunting aspect of the incredible visuals was the approach to the scares, if you can call them that, in the first half of the film. The horror in Goodnight Mommy changes about halfway through, from purely subtle and visual to very unnerving body horror and even gore. Those subtle shots in the beginning reminded me of the old French film Eyes Without a Face. The mother is shown only in her bandages, with the audience having no reference point for what is under there, which helps us imagine the most horrible. She lurks like a monster in dark shadows and in reflections, and it is as chilling as it is beautiful, I enjoyed it immensely.

That's not to say I was disappointed when the movie changed direction to the much more macabre in its second half. Exactly the opposite, in fact. The directors handle both subtlety and violence incredibly well, resulting in two entirely different but equally enjoyable halves. This transition also helped keep this very personal, three actor, single location film interesting until the end. It helped it avoid treading similar ground more than once. And oh my god what a second half we have here. The kind of violence the characters commit against each other is so specifically chosen. It may not be the bloodiest or most disturbing ideologically, but it is always acts that are very easy to imagine and relate to, so you actually end up feeling them in your body as if happening to you. This is body horror done right in my opinion.

Goodnight Mommy also did something that very few movies dare to do. It interrupted the last third, the most tense part of a movie, with a hilarious 5 minute comedy scene involving some Red Cross workers. It was a big risk considering all the laughing could potentially diminish the impact of the ending once we return to the violence at hand. Instead it played it off masterfully and made the ending seem even more vile juxtaposed against the lightheartedness of that scene. On this note, all the other funny scenes in the film were also excellent. The beginning made me laugh much more than once.

The downside is that one of the twists worked really well for this movie BUT was alluded to way too well, so you guess it before the first third is even over. On top of that, it's a twist that's already been done in a not too dissimilar Asian film before, so it is old news for hardcore horror fans. Regardless, this weak hiding may have been intentional since the movie doesn't make that big of a deal out of it in the end. In fact, the twist creates a very clever distortion of your perception of the characters initially, and twists (no pun intended) your expectations of who is up to what. So although not original, it just made the rest of the movie better so I'll accept it as a necessary evil.

Goodnight Mommy is one of the strongest horror debut films I've seen. It is stunning body horror, and puts most other films to shame with its cinematography. Well-directed, well-acted, well-everything. An absolute must-see.


166 of 265 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 218 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

Austria

Language:

German

Release Date:

11 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Goodnight Mommy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,641, 13 September 2015

Gross USA:

$1,178,196

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,193,474
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Holiday Movies on Prime Video for the Whole Family

Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit.

Get some picks



Recently Viewed