Movie Review: Goodnight Mommy (2014)

Release: 30 August 2014
Release: 30 August 2014

I was looking for a new horror film to watch this Halloween season, when I stumbled across Goodnight Mommy. Let me just say this was not at all what I was expecting. I won’t reveal too much, but this film is about a set of twins left home alone with their mother as she recovers from plastic surgery. They begin to suspect that the woman wrapped in bandages isn’t really their mother and her actions seem to corroborate this. With no one else around they take it upon themselves to discover the truth.

This Austrian horror film has been getting some positive reviews and was even nominated for an academy award. After watching it, I’d say it doesn’t really deserve it. It is a decent enough film, but nothing phenomenal. It has some creepy moments, but I found myself wondering when it would turn into a horror film. It never really does become horror, and stays more in the realm of thriller. I found the bulk of it to be slow and sometimes hard to watch, but still it came together nicely at the end. As annoyed as I was getting by the lack of horror in my horror film, I was quite satisfied with it at the end. It wasn’t what I expected but it was still an enjoyable watch. With the correct expectations, it would probably be more enjoyable.

Though the film never gets too graphic, it does remain quite cringe worthy. There is the expectations of graphic moments that don’t show much. The prelude to graphic and torturous moments is enough to elicit the same response as the more graphic torture porn films. I like that they tried to keep this moments subtle, but I feel the film could have been more effective through less apprehensive means.

Overall the film is enjoyable, and a recommended watch for fans of thrillers. It is unique enough of a story with a moderately surprising conclusion. The film is surprisingly effective and satisfying at the conclusion. It is beautifully shot and intriguing, but lacks scares. While I don’t want to watch it again, I’m glad I gave it a chance. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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