Movie Review: Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh, Ich Seh)

In cinemas (USA) 11th September - @lcfremont reviews...

Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writers: Veronika Franz,  Severin Fiala
Actors:  Susanne Wuest, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz

Review:

Recently, the internet exploded with the news that there was a new movie trailer going around and it was the scariest movie trailer in the history of time. O.K, maybe just the scariest of 2015. Either way, 
Goodnight Mommy is currently the movie to see if you want to be proper creeped out. A personal hatred towards the over abundance of movie advertising kept me from viewing this trailer until after I viewed the film and I definitely think I made the correct choice.

Directing and writing team Severin Fiala and Veonika Franz have created an intensely quiet film that is just as full of emotional impact as it is visual impact. Living in a large, isolated and sterile looking house are Elias and Lukas, two 9 year old twin brothers. Wasting away the lazy days of summer, the boys play hide and seek in the surrounding corn fields and wooded area. The two boys have an easy and tight knit bond which becomes even closer when their mother returns home from elective surgery. With her entire head wrapped in surgical bandages, Die Mutter (Susanne Wuest) looks a bit like an escapee from a bad horror film which is not the kind of thing that endears your children to you. Demanding complete silence from the boys while she recuperates and refusing to acknowledge Lukas, the boys begin to wonder if this is truly their mother.

Goodnight Mommy image

Initially, we are made privy to the fact that mom chooses not to acknowledge Lukas when she prepares dinner only for Elias. When questioned why she did this, she declares, “you know why.” After sharing his dinner with Lukas, Elias suggests that perhaps he should just apologize to mother. This moment immediately sets the tone of the relationship between mother and sons. Die Mutter clearly runs a very strict household, but there are times when you start to see why Elias and Lukas are beginning to believe that this bandaged woman is not really her.

As the days listlessly pass by, the boys begin to spy on this woman who claims to be their mom and all of this, ultimately, escalates to a hostage situation that piles on the moments of dread and toe curling violence. These two angelic looking boys and their lithe, icy blonde mother will cause you to be uncertain of whom to root for until the very end. The score provides a perfect mix of dread and childhood wonder while the cinematography helps to beautifully flesh out the story. Goodnight Mommy is not the kind of film that you speak too freely of because it is a very special package that needs to be opened by each viewer on their own. Fiala and Franz have created a beautifully simple looking film that is hiding an extremely complicated web of emotions. Be prepared to watch this film a second time because it is necessary in order to absorb everything that you have witnessed.

Lisa Fremont

Twitter: @lcfremont

Images: IMDb

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