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A great big disappointment
justroxy9319 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I really thought this movie would be a lot better. The rating is decent for a horror film and there are good reviews. The critics seem to love it though I had learned not to trust metacritic scores.

Basically, as soon as the mother showed up and opened her mouth, I immediately figured out what was wrong with the boys. It was all downhill from there. The big twist therefore became no twist at all.

I know they are very different but I can't help to compare "Goodnight Mommy" to "the Others," which had much better plot twist. It wasn't perfect but at least you couldn't figure it out at the beginning of the film. And as far as creepy kids in movies goes, the twins are just OK. The two kids in the Others in comparison were excellent. There really is no shortage of much better creepy kids in films.

Sometimes, I wonder whether a movie gets better ratings from critics just because it's in a language other than English.
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Absolutely stunning film, for fans of beautiful art horror.
horrorinpureform6 July 2015
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.
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The most predictable film I've seen in a long time. *warning spoilers*
jadoredior198327 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
*warning major spoilers! Only read if you don't want to see this movie or already have seen it* Well I feel like I've wasted an hour and a half to watch a movie that I knew what was going to happen within the first 10 minutes of it. This plot has been done to death and by much better directors and screen writers. Child suffers from complicated grief, imagines his brother never died. Mother gets surgery done after her husband leaves her because he couldn't handle his son's death (speculation, we never see him. All the pictures are gone and the only time he is mentioned is in a phone call saying after they separated). She comes back after the surgery and is not having her son's psychosis anymore. She tries to get him to stop believing the fantasy that Lukaz is still alive. She's mean and cold to Elias. So he thinks it's a case of body snatchers! There's a lot of evidence showing she's different I.e. Different eye color, no mole, forgets Lukaz' favorite song but she had good explanations for all of them. So they tie her up and torture her. Then the evil twin Lukaz keeps trying to convince Elias to not believe her. Finally after some gross body horror Lukaz(the dead brother) convinces Elias to kill her by setting the downstairs a blaze. I'm pretty sure he died with his mom because the final scene is both boys reunited with their ideal mom. I can't believe a lot of reviews on here said they were on the "edge of their seats." I kept falling asleep, hoping for a surprise ending and was totally let down. I would have given it 1 star but the kids were adorable when they weren't being little evil psychotic brats. Oh BTW if your son has cockroaches as pets he's probably disturbed. There you go. Now you don't have to watch this piece of garbage.
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Slow but creepy
Seth_Rogue_One20 December 2015
A Austrian psychological drama horror that might not suit everyone just because it is a little bit on the slow side for the first half in particular and is then merely suggestively unsettling than a full on scare.

But the slow build-up kept my interest and it definitely paid off in the end.

I've read here that some people thought it was too predictable, but I must disagree because there were elements to the story that I had to go here to the message-boards to properly understand, and by then it all made sense of course.

It could be because I am currently sick so my brain isn't working properly lol but I really don't think so, and I can usually tell how a horror movie is gonna end half asleep anyway.

So yeah, recommended for patient viewers who's looking for a horror that isn't all about cheap jump scares but more of a psychological one.
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Subtle Horror in the Form of a Family Drama
SquigglyCrunch31 May 2016
Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich Seh) follows two twin brothers, Elias and Lukas, and their mother who has just returned home after having a major surgery on her face. She has to wear bandages around her head because of this, but her sons begin to question whether or not she truly is their mother.

The premise alone is enough to get anyone hooked. It's a great idea, and it wouldn't be hard to make this movie unsettling considering the concept alone is scary. Despite this, it wasn't so much. It was always unsettling and subtle with it's horror, and treated itself more as a drama with an actual story that just so happens to also be extremely unnerving. In the case of this movie it works very well, though. It focuses largely on the story and characters, which is a much appreciated change in the horror genre.

Some people might consider the twist ending to be predictable, and I can see why, but I loved it. I didn't expect it at all.

Overall Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich Seh) is fantastic. It's got a great premise and presentation, with interesting characters and a fantastic twist ending. In the end I would definitely recommend this movie.
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I really enjoyed the film's atmosphere, and slow-building terror!
Hellmant22 October 2015
'GOODNIGHT MOMMY': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Critically acclaimed Austrian horror flick; about twin nine-year-old brothers, who begin to suspect that their mother is not the woman she says she is. The film was written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. It stars Susanne Wuest and Elias and Lukas Schwarz (the twins make their feature acting debut, with this movie). I really enjoyed the film's atmosphere, and slow-building terror!

Elias and Lukas (the Schwartz brothers) are twin brothers, that live in an isolated countryside house; with their mother (Wuest). The boys are disturbed, and frightened, by their mom; when she returns home from cosmetic surgery, with her head almost completely wrapped in bandages. They're also bothered by her odd, and sometimes mean, behavior towards them; especially the fact that she keeps ignoring Lukas. The boys start to suspect that the woman, living in their home with them, is not their mother; and they decide to take matters into their own hands, to find out who she really is.

The film is very deliberately slow-paced, at first; but it does a really good job of setting up the story, and it's characters, in the process. There's a pretty good M. Night Shyamalan style twist, at the end; and if you're paying attention to the film, leading up to it, you should be able to pick up on several clues, that foreshadow it (pretty obviously, after you already know the twist). The movie's quite disturbing, and very terrifying, throughout; but especially at the end. The directors did a great job, directing and writing the film, and the three lead actors do outstanding work as well. It's definitely a well made horror flick, that's well worth seeing.

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Goodnight Mommy
Argemaluco6 December 2015
Goodnight Mommy takes more than it should to find its rhythm, but it eventually gains energy and becomes a very interesting psychological thriller. It's difficult to write a review of this film without revealing the disturbing events from its third act, so it will be better to be mentioning what does NOT happen. Even though Goodnight Mommy was widely acclaimed in websites dedicated to horror cinema, it isn't a typical supernatural tale or a gore spectacle (even though it can be said that there are slight traces of both styles); and the twist in the end is quite well implemented, and I had never seen it coming. The actors make an extraordinary work in their roles, revealing the complex relationship between their characters without too much words. The story is set at a cottage inhabited by three persons (well, there is some occasional "guest", but they are just auxiliaries of the plot who don't require too much definition). That minimalistic cast defines the general tone of the movie, shot with an elegant austerity (which is typical of European cinema) which is also reflected on the terse dialogs and cold cinematography, portraying the games of the kids and the moments of the ending with the same indifference. On the negative side, the screenplay takes more than it should to find its own rhythm, as I previously mentioned. On the one hand, that increments the suspense; but on the other hand, it occasionally leaves us on an emotional drift, without enough clues to draw conclusions or enough events to impulse the narrative. Fortunately, the many pros of Goodnight Mommy end up compensating that complaint on a big degree, and I recommend it as quite a solid film, which might be horror, thriller or drama; but its analysis of psychological traumas and family dissolution doesn't need to engage with a specific genre in order to leave the spectator satisfied.
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Good Build Up To An Underwhelming Finale
HorrorOverEverything10 September 2015
I love movies that try to be original and do something new, that's why Goodnight Mommy caught my interest right off the bat. It sets a very nice tone and had me excited to see a dark/stunning story unfold. Unfortunately this movie was mostly build up with a very mediocre third act.

It's obvious that this movie was going for an artsy feel but it's like they completely bailed on that about 70% through and that really ruined the whole film imo. Plus through the whole film I kept thinking "Man I really hope they aren't going to try and do that, because if they do this will just turn into a clichéd mess" and they absolutely do what I didn't want them to.

Goodnight Mommy is a decent effort, and I'm sure it will be praised by many people who are desperate for a good horror movie, but I find it hard to give in to the hype because this really just wasn't that great of a movie.

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A creepy little horror-thriller for the discerning horror fans who don't crave cheap, gimmicky thrills!
ronnieg-107-12897418 August 2015
Movie Gems' Review of a modern horror film ... Goodnight Mommy (aka Ich seh, Ich seh) {2014}. No spoilers!

When the trailer for Austrian horror flick "Goodnight Mommy" hit the Internet not that long ago it promptly went viral. The intriguing trailer, blessed with superb editing, got hardcore horror fans majorly "excited" ... but ... the trailer somewhat skews the real "character" of the film.

Horror fans that crave in-your-face, major scares in a movie within the genre will be very disappointed with Goodnight Mommy. It is plain and simple not that kind of horror film: in many ways it is an intensely creepy psychological-thriller with intense horror moments thrown in. The movie too is very typically European in its execution: a leisurely pace in the story telling, very controlled camera movement and the insightful framing of shots.

It is Summer and in an isolated and beautiful house in the countryside, between woods and corn fields, live nine-year-old twin brothers, Elias (Elias Schwarz) and Lukas (Lukas Schwarz). The twins are inseparable; they are very enigmatic; they keep large bugs as pets. They live with their mother (Susanne Wuest) who has recently returned home from apparent cosmetic surgery and her face is heavily bandaged. However, as far as the boys are concerned, nothing is like it was before she went away. They quickly begin to seriously doubt that this woman is actually their mother. And ... so begins their weird quest to find out the truth, a quest that involves the bizarre, the creepy and eventually the truly horrifying!

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.

The acting, from which is mostly an ensemble cast of three, is uniformly sound, particularly from the boys as there emotions are so frequently communicated via facial expressions and gestures rather than words.

And ... is there a twist? Of course there is! Unfortunately for me, I worked out what would eventually be revealed in the first ten minutes or so. That is not to say that I am ultra- perceptive; it's just that another early 70's film (one of my all time faves actually) used precisely the same premise so I had a "heads up" so to speak. I do admit that the film was spoiled for me because of this, but I still enjoyed it immensely! When the twist is revealed, however, it clearly shows that the film (despite its harrowing complexities) is really only about one thing ... and that one thing is very sad indeed!

Goodnight Mommy is pure Art-house horror as far as I am concerned because of the way the story is told and the cinematic techniques employed to showcase it. For example directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz have "done a Kubrick" in the final shot: it is far too long, it breaks all the cinematic rules, it makes no sense and then (in the hands of competent direction) it makes complete sense!

Goodnight Mommy is for the discerning horror movie lover who doesn't want everything dished up on a plate and who wants an intense psychological "journey" with a plausible payoff at the end.
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A great film
joe-chisholm7 December 2015
This is an absolute gem of a movie. It is a foreign film, so subtitles are a must if you're not Austrian. It starts out a little slow, but somehow keeps the viewer intrigued by the boys odd disposition. The film is filled with great scenery and the character development is done with a somewhat artistic taste showing what young boys get into. There are some great uses of cinematography especially during dream sequences. I would once again, reiterate that the movie is a little slow paced, but don't let that discourage you...You are in for a real treat. The film possesses one of the best endings I have seen in a long time. It a unique movie, and I absolutely loved it. I think a 7 is a fair assessment. Once again, hang in there. WATCH THIS MOVIE.
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Less Scares but Revels in its Atmospheric Dread and mystique.
sohansurag15 September 2015
Ich seh, Ich seh aka Goodnight Mommy's previews were all over the internet a few weeks back. Hailed as one of the creepiest trailers this season, it had turned enough heads with its visuals and characters alike. 'Creepy' was slapped all over the trailer and the fact that it was more an art-house movie than a commercial movie, intrigued me more. Had Sundance's The Witch trailer not released earlier this week I would still have stuck to Goodnight Mommy's disturbing trailer.

From the get go you'll know that Goodnight Mommy isn't your average horror movie. Rushing through the movie like any horror movie wouldn't do justice and you wouldn't get the gist of it. Goodnight Mommy counts on being more atmospheric than in-your-face. Along with its 3 leads, its eerily disturbing locales had a life of its own and contributes a lot to the unnerving factor of the movie. A look at the initial scenes with a house in the middle of nowhere and two 9 year old twins playing would make you think that there's something very off about everything that follows.

The plot is paper thin but ain't much straightforward. From the first scene itself you'll find yourself piecing the plot together like a jigsaw puzzle. It isn't brain teasing but it all ends when 'the hunter becomes the hunted' (I wont spoil that implication). Halfway through you'll be questioning the events happening in the movie at the same time your mind will be stern on what it has already grasped in the first half. The leads were terrific, be it the Elias & Lucas Schwarz Twins or the Susanne West's The Mother. The Twins' performance were natural and as naive and, may I say, 'mischievous' as any 9 old's could get while Susanne West's almost covered face could emote more than you can ever imagine.

The weaker points here are the story and the ending. While the trailer boasts like it could be the next best thing in horror genre it isn't so. Call it brilliant marketing, the trailer beckons you to label this as a horror masterpiece. And as they say "Don't judge a book by its cover", the same applies here. Pure horror fans will be disappointed here as there are a lot less scares compared to other movies.

Towards the end or possibly much earlier than that, you'll be able to figure out where its headed and it doesn't help that the ending was equivocal. Its a common horror trope to make the ending ambiguous and while works out well for commercial horror movies, the same just didn't work out here. You will be left with questions that's not pleasing to ponder through.

Goodnight Mommy will shock you, disgust you and rattle you at times, but it wont scare you…much. This movie deserves to be watched in patience and taken in with a pinch of salt. Goodnight Mommy revels in its atmospheric dread and a certain mystique that runs almost till the end. Considering its a movie coming from debutantes, Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz, its a commendable effort indeed. This isn't a bad horror movie, its just not what its advertised to be.
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Not an easy watch, but you'll find it hard to turn away...
jtncsmistad-8268919 December 2015

It is a conspicuously uneasy vibe established practically right from the start of the ultra-unsettling Austrian psychological thriller "Goodnight Mommy". And then from there all the way up to the haunting conclusion, Co-Directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz never take their feet off the pedal, unleashing an unrelenting and unnerving undercurrent of fear and dread.

Following what we come to learn was a horrific auto accident, a single mother also only recently separated from her husband returns to her country home and to her twin pre-adolescent sons. Severely damaged in the crash, her face is concealed in a grotesque guise of gauze and tape. She has been helplessly rendered to revealing to her children only a mummy-like mommy looking back at them with empty eyes, one who ceaselessly scolds them through pursed lips, often times as she is at once bodily abusing them. Mom's off-puttingly odd behavior leads one of the twins, Lukas, to suspect that this is not their mother at all. The other, Elias, is not so sure. At least initially, that is.

We watch, gripped with fascination, as these kids struggle mightily to uncover who, or WHAT, this curious creature is wandering about ominously in and around their house. Where in the world is she from? Or more alarmingly to consider, is she even OF this world? Is she actually an amnesiac, or is it all an act? And what of these urgent and seemingly random episodes of OCD spray bottle disinfecting of walls both inside and out? There are an abundance of plausible themes running throughout "Goodnight Mommy" from which to consider and to choose. Can a brutally battered and broken family be fixed? Can a distraught mother completely overwhelmed with pain both physical and spiritual ever fully return from the hell of a nervous breakdown? Or perhaps the ruthless reality that a post-traumatic existence is never endured alone, but is a shared suffering among all those infected in it's aftermath.

Not only are their roles exceedingly challenging emotionally, in addition these are physically punishing performances registered by all three principles in the film. The slapping, punching and eye-gouging inflicted by real-life twin brothers Lukas and Elias Schwarz along with actress Susanne Wuest upon each other never appear to be simulated. And while Wuest is certainly a stunningly beautiful woman to behold, the character she so strikingly inhabits is about as far from glamorous as can possibly be imagined.

The tables turn in terrifyingly twisted fashion mid-movie, as the persecuted become the exploiters. The hunter becomes the prey. What results is a starkly sordid demanding that love lost be replenished. And all at the will of unconscionable sadism. It is a genuinely disturbing disintegration to witness.

In the closing sequence of "Goodnight Mommy" we realize that we have returned back to the beginning of the story-the perfect picture of a mother and her children. Only we are abundantly aware that this is a final image which, while by nature eternal, has been reached at the end of a viciously cruel and merciless road paved with unspeakable grief and atrocity.

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A brilliant idea wasted by poor writing
zain-nov27 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The times have changed and viewers now prefer the cleaner horror movies as compared to slashers and bloody movies from 80's and 90's. What I call them is 'Contemporary Horror' where editing and cinematography takes the responsibility to keep it chilly instead of make up and special effects.

Goodnight Mommy, is such of a movie which depicts power of it's script and cleaner direction. With minimal characters and only one major location, Goodnight Mommy resembles to recent Hollywood release Ex-Machina. Technically movie is brilliant, or at least first half of it. Although it's very much clear even from the first encounter of mother and sons that One of them is not real. Script showed a damaging weakness there when it could not hide the sheer suspense which was the backbone of the movie. And from there it was all in the open that script is based on the premise of Korean Horror ' A Tale of Two Sister' which was unsuccessfully made in Hollywood as 'The Uninvited'.

Despite of the weaker story, movie still managed to keep one focus his mind until the big change comes and boy knots his mother down. From there now it turned from a 'Contemporary Horror' to 'Contemporary Torture' movie and by torture I mean torturing the viewers. There literally is not purpose to watch the movie from there an on. There is no story and no character strength left.

A brilliant idea wasted by poor writing
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Disturbing and Scary
claudio_carvalho1 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
In an isolated comfortable house by the lake in Austria, the twins Elias (Elias Schwarz) and Lukas (Lukas Schwarz) see their mother (Susanne Wuest) with her face covered in bandages after a surgery and ignoring Lukas. She only talks to Elias and orders new rules for her house, asking for silence, to keep the curtains closed during the day and to play only outside the house since she needs to rest. She is tough with Elias and the twins suspect that the woman might not be their mother. When they compare old photos with her face and find that their house is for sale in Internet, they conclude that she is not their mother. Then they tie her arms and legs to the bed and torture her to know where their mother is. What is the secret of this woman?

"Ich seh, ich seh", a.k.a. "Goodnight Mommy", is a disturbing and scary low- budget horror movie. The violence gives an impact similar to Michael Haneke's "Funny Games" (1997), with the cruelty of Elias with his mother. The tight screenplay is very well-written, building tension in right pace and disclosing the truth in an unexpected plot point. There is a hint about the truth when the priest brings the boys home. The twins Elias and Lukas Schwarz have top-notch performances in their debut in cinema. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available on Blu-Ray or DVD
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Anxious and emotional, Goodnight Mommy resonates to your core fears and terrors, amazing
ArchonCinemaReviews17 October 2015
The original title for the Austrian film Goodnight Mommy is Ich seh Ich seh, which translates roughly to "I see, I see." This phrase is a reference to a German/Austrian version of "I spy with my little eye," which proceeds instead as "Ich seh, Ich seh, was du nicht siehst" – "I see, I see, what you don't see." There is an abundance of visually stunning darkness and violence in this truly disturbing film. So what, then, are we meant to see that we do not immediately see?

In the opening to the Austrian film Goodnight Mommy, two ten-year- old twins, Elias and Lukas (portrayed wonderfully by Elias and Lukas Schwarz), idle away their boyhood summer at a large countryside house. Curiously unsupervised for the first part of the film, they boys seem to exist in a single, golden, never-ending day of play, running through fields, swimming in the lake, and exploring caves. However, the light of the summer quickly becomes more sinister when their mother (the equally superb Susanne Wuest) returns home from an unexplained cosmetic facial surgery. To Elias and Lukas, the heavily bandaged woman now in their home is severe and menacing, and the boys soon begin to suspect that she is not their dear mother at all.

What unfolds throughout the film is seemingly a monster movie, the tale of a beast that descends from the hills to terrorize a town (population: 2). The mother stalks through the house with booming steps, almost machine-like in resonance and pace, trailed by a plume of ashen robes. She sets strict rules for the silence and sterility of the house, for which the boys are punished harshly when they refuse to comply. Stranger yet, the woman seems to prohibitively favor one of her sons, citing an unstated prior insult as justification.

The directors of Goodnight Mommy, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, are masterful at creating tension and mystery. Who is this woman? It seems impossible that this woman is their mother, or anyone's mother for that matter. At one point, after making too much noise, the boys are locked in their rooms, starved and forced to urinate into cans. They begin to have visions of their mother undergoing demonic transformations. They realize they must fight back.

Many of the mother's actions are objectively monstrous and inconsistent with her personality in the past. The film becomes more compelling, however, after the halfway point, when we begin to realize that we are, in fact, being told this story through the eyes of children. Lukas and Elias have legitimate fears and analyses, but their minds are walled by their own naiveté. We see hints of the mother as a damaged and strained person who is struggling to heal emotionally as well as physically. Through small clues—snippets of conversations, flashes of computer screens–it is revealed that some significant change happened to this family prior to and beneath the surface of the film. Trauma does not discriminate between the young and the old, and ultimately, after the film's graphically violent and shocking turn in the final act, we are left devastated for all members of the family alike.

As watchers of horror movies, we are trained to be vigilant, always on edge and scanning for the monster around the corner. This is more challenging in Goodnight Mommy, in which allegiances shift throughout. Where did I actually see the monster? For many years, horror films have focused on fear of children as a central theme, with movies such as The Ring, Children of the Corn, and The Exorcist all utilizing childhood as a conduit of terror. While not a direct subversion of this theme, Goodnight Mommy sets its goals higher, exploring the desolation and fear that can occur when humans at vastly different stages in their development attempt to reconcile themselves with transformative pain. Terror is never just about a monster; terror is found within.

There is a moment in Goodnight Mommy when the anxious heat of summer finally breaks, and the sky opens to a flurry of hail. The boys rush out to the back yard in cathartic glee to jump around in the chunks of ice. Inside, their mother stares coldly, her hollow eyes buried in bandages, her face obscured by blinds, her entire body sealed like a dissected specimen behind a pane of glass. In that moment, the boys and their mother are more like pillars demarcating negative space than a family. The void between them is terrifying, but nonetheless invisible. There is nothing there to see.

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Starts good, ends predictably
ccrice-18 January 2016
I saw the trailer for this movie and I really looked forward to watching it. All the actors are very good, especially the little twin boys. It's easy to see the "twist" early in the movie. I kept anticipating a shift in momentum that would take the movie in another direction. That never happened. This was so disappointing. Too bad. I really enjoyed this movie at the beginning and I was so sorry it never achieved the goal it should have reached.

If you are looking for a good horror movie, the first 40 minutes fits the bill. Sadly, the experience of watching this film will probably let you down.
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This, just wow!
botev192112 August 2015
I am a huge fan of quality European cinema as it is always miles ahead of the easily digestible Hollywood crap we are being fed but I never expected an Austrian production to deliver on so many levels. I consider this to be wrongly labelled as horror when it is actually pure form of cinematic art from start to finish that just can't be attributed to a single genre. The direction and manner in which all scenes are shot is simply mind-blowing and the acting facilitates the conveying of the message completely. Those long and very intense shots of the two boys practically deprived of emotion faces are absolute highlight of the entire experience and while in the beginning I was not sure the boys were actually acting or simply had no idea what they were doing, near the end when some more dialogue is present, they do show the brilliance of having fulfilled the part to perfection. As for the plot and the twist, I just love when trailers do not give away anything of the actual story but still manage to attract viewers. I was certain this could go in the good/evil, devil/God line based on the trailer, but it was totally different experience with emphasis on purely earthly emotions, the effect of loss on children/parents and the psychology of family coherence or lack of such. I will throw in an advice to those who have not seen it but plan to do so - do not try to think too much as you might actually spot the potential twist in the very first few minutes. If the direction and scene composition manage to distract you enough, you will be shocked at the end!
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Not THAT arty....
Shadowplayed20 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Goodnight Mommy starts off as more of a fantasy with carefree but weird child's play abruptly interrupted by an ominous presence in a form of a mom. The film proceeds in cant-put-my-finger-on it threatening kind of way, where atmosphere and relationship between characters is less than friendly and very strange. They act like strangers, well, at least mom is. The boys, Elias and Lucas are trying to determine if the bandaged person whose face they can't make out is indeed their loving mother, but seem less sure of it as time goes by. You see, mom has returned from the hospital after the operations she'd undergone due to an accident.

Not much in this film is explained, firstly how the kids of that age could be left alone in a remote house while the parent is away for, supposedly, considerable amount of time. This part is the biggest gap in this subtle psychological horror with heavy dramatic elements.

But, mom is back but the twins are not content, she seems angry, impatient and hostile, someone must've taken her place, and the woman before them must be an impostor. The build up is somewhat leisurely, Goodnight Mommy is nicely made but it takes a sweet time while the careful viewer gets clearer idea what's the deal here. I'd hoped for a different kind of conclusion but as the film reaches the climax the actions taken by characters seem more extreme so some explicit violence is to be expected. Although the dreamy, cold then threatening atmosphere supported by melancholic images of a remote modern house in the middle of nowhere and surrounding nature are spot on, I wish the characters were a bit more fleshed out so we can understand their past and motivations. Still, clues and outright violent actions are there, so if you're patient the pay off is pretty satisfying, so the wait is worth it. Plus, for all its initial subtlety it handles child's psychology, dysfunctional family and emerging delusions in a satisfying manner never going overboard, not having to spell everything out and maintaining the aura of impending doom. A very nice drama/horror for those who like it slow but effective. And those who enjoy the twist even if it's been spotted well before the revelation. And to all a good night!
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The world through the eyes of a nine-year-old
jkbonner11 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Based on a highly approving movie review I read in a weekly magazine I subscribe to, I saw this movie. I was expecting a high level scary thriller. It is not a thriller. Rather best seen as a psychological drama from the point of view of a highly disturbed nine-year-old boy. It often lacks clarity (see para. 3). It has been compared to the The Babadook (2014), and the family resemblance is clear. But The Babadook managed to be more engaging although its special effects were crude.

In summary Goodnight Mommy it is about a mother (Susanne Wuest) and how after a serious operation on her face she returns and relates to her two young twin sons, Elias (Elias Schwarz) and Lukas (Lukas Schwarz). Near the beginning we see her let out of a car in front of a large very modern-looking country house standing in the middle of a large copse of trees and corn fields. The house seems remote and out of place in all this scenic beauty, and its modern architecture and furniture impart to it a cold and sinister atmosphere. Except for her eyes, which are bloodshot, the woman's head is almost totally wrapped in bandages. Spooky looking. No doubt about that. Her spookiness and her behavior startle the young twin(s) and soon he/they begin wondering if she is truly his/their mother.

We learn she is the well-paid anchorwoman at a large Austrian TV station (prima donna complex and control freak suggested here), and she has taken time out to recuperate from whatever happened. She desperately tries to control her son(s). The movie is done to have us believe there are two. In reality only one exists. Elias. Lukas has died. Apparently in an accident or possibly by a more drastic happening. On this point the movie is obscure. (Quite possibly the mother is the person responsible for Lukas death. Again, there is no clarity on this.) Elias is suffering from some form of PTSD brought on by Lukas's untimely death and still experiences him as very much alive. There is a hint (a phone call she has) that she is using a friend's (psychiatrist?) house to try to discipline the young Elias to accept the new situation, but Lukas's death is never broached at any time. At the end Elias goes overboard, no longer able to contain his hostility towards his mother.

This movie has merits because it forces you into the mind of a young nine-year-old boy and how he perceives reality. The Schwarz brothers (twins in real life) portray the movie twins very convincing as does Wuest as the domineering mother. The movie however lacks drama and ultimately even fails in the spookiness department. The script must carry the burden of creating a believable scenario that ultimately leads to the ultimate denouement. Unfortunately it leaves too big a gap to fill in the blanks. Although psychologically bizarre, it comes off too often as simply bordering on incomprehensible. Perhaps this was the director's intent.

6 out of 10
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Goodbye, Mommy
thinkpositively20 August 2015
Scream, run. Lock your doors. Swear to never have twin boys. Do what ever you need to do. Just don't miss this picture. It's one of the best Austrian horror movies ever, called: Goodnight Mommy. It has set fire to the internet, causing a thousand nightmares along the way. It's being touted as the scariest trailer ever made... but what do you think? Is it really? It's certainly nicely creepy, getting under your skin and creating more questions than it answers. For a bit of context, check out some other trailers that have caused a huge amount of hype - before Goodnight Mommy knocked them off the top spot of 'scariest trailer ever' in the opinion of the internet... For me it was truly the most disturbing movies portraying children I have seen since the Good Son. This movie left me wondering what it was all about well after I saw it a second time. Who is dead? How did he/she die? I found it so compelling, even scary that I had to stop the movie once to regain my composure. How far would you go to prove your point. Would you kill? By all means, watch this movie. It's hard to see such beautiful human children be so evil. So if being scared is your thing. If you like a whodunit, then by all means stick around. But, you just might want to lock your door tonight.
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From terrible to disturbingly terrible
Booth199612 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
A review for those who simply love a good modern horror.

As said in another review here, it has its moments. This isn't a spoiler if you have seen the trailer.... The films starts with boys enjoying themselves to find their mother has arrived and she is covered in bandages and you immediately think "who is she? what has happened?" and it grabs your attention. This is shown in the trailer to also draw you into the film but apart from that initial scene, there wasn't much more horror to it.

Seen all over the internet as "most disturbing horror trailer" but thats all it is! very misleading.

If you are like me and you just enjoy a good horror on your night off, its not for you! no jumps, no scares.
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Copy of another movie
leoreynaga17 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you have already seen "the uninvited" you will be disappointed, and will know what is going to happen halfway the movie. Also has a lot of those little details that make the movie look dumb, silly. So as I said before the first half of the movie was good because I had no idea about what was going to happen or what was going on, but as soon as you understand by taking a look at some obvious details, you notice, and wish for the end of the movie to be different because those previous details were just too obvious, but in the end that does not happen, trying to add a plot twist to the movie that, as is now almost a must in any horror movie, turns really bad. The only thing that I really enjoyed about the movie was the house where it takes place.
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shl1313219 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Goodnight Mommy, is an unevenly paced thriller with a twist we've seen many times before.

I liked the sense of threat that was felt throughout the whole movie. There was a scary atmosphere throughout the first two acts of this movie. The performance by the mother was good, but the performances by the twins was week. They seemed not to have any real emotion throughout this whole movie. The directing and cinematography were OK not award worthy or anything. The editing was very effective to the tone.

Major problems I have with film were with the script. It got very repetitive during the third act 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. That bothered me a lot because people are going to want to donate to them if someone just barges into their house. I get that this scene was supposed to build tension but it did not work for me.

As for the twist its nothing we haven't seen before, The Sixth Sense and The Others both use this twist we don't have to see it again. Like the other two movies it was hinted throughout that the one twin was dead. Like the mother would only do things, like make breakfast for one of the twins, or only the twin that was alive would talk to other people.
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Very Disturbing, Very Dark, Entirely Plausible
DareDevilKid13 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Dark, violent, disturbing, and engulfed with a palpable sense of dread, "Goodnight Mommy" is a treat for psychological horror aficionados who not only love the wool being suddenly pulled over their eyes, but also enjoy being taunted with a narrative that's as unpredictable as it's unpleasant. In a lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields lives 9-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 whether this woman is actually their mother, and what emerges is an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust.

It's not an easy watch, but with haunting cinematography, impeccable pacing, tantalizing suspense, and a constant sense of disquiet right around the corner, Director-duo Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz make you sit up and pay rapt attention to their film. Another admirable aspect of the film, giving it that tangible sense of dread and wholly realizing the Directors' vision, is the laconic and sophisticated editing of Michael Palm. But if there's one standout aspect of "Goodnight Mommy" besides its superlative plot and direction, then that's the indelible performances of Susanne Wuest and the young Schwarz twins in what is essentially a three-actor ensemble. They chew right into the atmosphere of every scene, making the suspense and perennial unease of the narrative all the more foreboding and believable.

The clever script, penned by the Directors themselves, doles out context in small, strategic doses, and keeps the audience guessing, even as the strange behavior on both sides increases and becomes more squirm-inducing. And the duo's narrative style goes to great lengths to make situations happen in such a disorienting way that it becomes nightmarish after a point to even think about what could transpire next. A menacing tale treated with the patience and confidence it demands, "Goodnight Mommy" is an unmissable psychological horror film where emphasis is laid on paranoia and the darkness of the human mind.
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Seriously is that a horror movie?
mrcynic008 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Once again I'm bowled over by the overwhelming reviews given to the movie described as a great horror movie,but instead what I got is an average(if not bad because of the acting of the main characters) movie.

NOTE:I watched this movie with subtitles,that may be a reason why I didn't like the movie(some might think like that,that is why I'm mentioning this) ,but let me tell you I had watched a lot of movies with subtitles & some of them are still in my fav.list. The movie is about two child's and there mother ,who has returned home after an accident,her face covered in bandage, she acts differently after returning home and the children suspects that she is not their mother.whether she is their mother orsome other woman is the rest of the movie. First of all folks its not a horror movie at all.And if you watch a lot of movies,and if you pay a slight attention in the first 10 mins of the movie you can easily guess that what is going on,and what might have happened.The only thing you can pray afterwards is that somehow you will be proved wrong and there might be an twist,but alas there isn't.

Lets talk about the positive point: Well acting wise the child actor is very good and so is our lead actress and that's the only good thing what I find about the movie As for the negative point there are so many firstly the movie is damn slow,seriously a big yawnnn.Secondly as I said the story if you a minute detail then you will come to know about the big suspense in the first ten mins itself.Thirdly as a viewer you (atleast I didn't)doesn't connect with the characters.You don't care what is happening or what will happen Instead you will be thinking that why the hell I'm watching this. Lastly with no offence to Austrian cinema ,this is the first Austrian movie I have watched ,and as some reviewers had written that this is the return of good Austrian cinema.I'm glad I hadn't missed anything good.
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