Film Review: “Goodnight Mummy” (2014) ★★★★


Nothing terrifies you more than seeing two children accusing their parent of being someone else the way it happens in Goodnight Mummy. And that may happen if they, by chance, decide to do minor or severe face changing cosmetic surgery, after which, little and still incapable of rational thinking minds recognize the old face and not the new one. What happens in Goodnight Mummy (Ich seh, Ich seh” – original title) co-directed by Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz is a great reminder of what you should or should not do when it comes to your face changing process and more importantly, to prepare for big changes your child will go through as well if you don’t want to traumatize them. But I am sure, after seeing Goodnight Mummy, you will be having your own opinion, which can be close to mine.

Goodnight Mummy follows twin boys, Lucas and Elias who find it impossible to recognize their mother after her cosmetic surgery. After some time, conducting a little investigation, they realize that the woman who claims to be their mother is not real, and decide to take action in order to find her. But shortly after, after you reach the point where you no longer will know what really happens, twin boys will go as far as possible to execute their plans. But what if the woman who lives with them in the same house is their mother, and everything else happening is the fruit of paranoid imagination of two brothers who can’t see the difference between reality and the image created in their disturbed mind? Whatever the answer, you better prepare yourself before you start watching this arty horror film, because what it has to offer you is not too scary, but too real to be feared of.

When the movie begins, we find a mother who, a bit aggressively, arrives home, locks herself in the dark room and orders enormous amounts of food, enough for one year. Twin brothers, Elias and Lukas find themselves a bit confused, as the woman under bandage is not the one who they knew as their mother. The way the screenplay is written, and written very masterfully, you will find hard to predict the writer’s intention, as it tries to mislead you all the way until a certain point. And that point is when you start thinking and analyzing the situation not with the kid’s mind, but rather as an adult. And when it happens, it will be too late for you to backwards in time as you will be into the movie fully terrified with anything that will happen next.

Goodnight Mummy is set in the heat of the summer, a lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. The environment created is good enough to give enough space and flexibility for filmmakers to execute their plan. And that, I must say works ideally. The budget of the film may not be big, but sometimes, having small but meantime great idea is enough to achieve goals with little amount of money you have in your hands. And Goodnight Mummy is a living proof of how horror films should be made in order to scary you enough without using any special visual effects. And believe me on this one, it does!

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