Echoing the glacial chill of Michael Haneke at his most unsettling, Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s feature debut shows that familial love can sometimes go too far.
Elias and Lukasz (Elias and Lukas Schwarz) are finally reunited with their mother following her recovery from reconstructive surgery. But something about Mutter (Susanne Wuest). It’s not that she no longer looks like the mother they once had. They knew she would look different. But her behaviour seems to have changed. So much so that they wonder of she’s actually their mother. And if she isn’t, what danger does she pose to them? Goodnight Mommy is a brilliant exercise in escalating tension. They are few shocks, but what Fiala and Franz achieve instead is a sense of deep unease at the thought that a complete stranger might have invaded the domestic space. And the film’s denouement is a killer.
★★★★ “A belting horror film” - David Jenkins, Little White Lies
★★★★ “A visceral, artful horror about childbirth and trauma” - Damon Wise, Empire
★★★★ “Alarming Austrian chiller” - Mark Kermode, The Observer