Writer/directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz deliver a cynic and horrifying exploration of a mother and son relationship in “Goodnight Mommy.”
Elias and Lukas Schwarz star as brothers waiting for their mother, played by Susanne Wuest, to arrive home after surgery. When the mother returns home, the boys sense something odd. The boys whisper the unexpected transformation of their mother, that although her physical appearance has stayed the same, her actions and behavior have drastically changed. The twin brothers, too, behave strangely. Why are they whispering and acting without reasoning? Why do they collect bugs and move about discreetly?
The cinematography is beautifully shot, with attention to detail and transition which is something not all horror films do well. The setting of the story in the woods also diverts the eye from an enclosed scene (traditional to the genre) and creates mystery to the multitude of visual and interpretative imagery the film provides.
Although the atmosphere and ambience resemble the classic horror genre, the storyline and plot seem to have a deeper meaning, one without superficial gimmicks. Point of view and stylistic direction of the film are cleverly constructed, giving varying experiences depending on the details picked up. Gore and fright do not come until the latter half of the movie, giving dramatic increase in tension in an unnerving torture scene. The film is largely a suspense driven plot, with main climax delivered in the ending. All in all, it is a thought provoking film that lends itself to conversation beyond the cinema.
‘Goodnight Mommy’ is in theaters Friday, September 11th.