Goodnight Mommy
I read rave reviews and heard so many good things about the Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy from critics around the globe. It landed not only as one of the top foreign films of 2015, but also as one of the best horror films of the year. So, just two days ago I decided to give the film a shot in the dark with the hopes that this would not be another Babadook incident (the film was also given massive praise but I and many others absolutely hated it). Long story short, I should not have expected much from this film because it turned out to be one of the dullest movies I have ever experienced. The worst part about this movie is that it had a wonderful concept; it was just executed with a lack of style and a slower-than-snail-pace. 

Goodnight Mommy follows two young boys named Elias and Lukas (whose real life counterparts are named Elias and Lukas Shwarz) after their mother returns to their isolated, lakeside house after cosmetic surgery. When she puts down her foot, things do not seem to be normal. She refuses to talk to Lukas, she puts down some weird rules, and forces Elias to promise her that he will not talk to Lukas anymore. This leads the boys to believe that this bandaged-face woman is not actually their mother, but an imposter. Both Elias and Lukas then bound and capture the woman, and begin to torture her in order for her to let them know who she is and where their real mother is. 


As I stated above, the plot to the movie was what made me want to watch this film in the first place. Two boys not knowing whether or not the person who claims to be their mother is actually their mother could have made for an extremely interesting horror film. But, with a lack of dialogue that basically stems to the boys saying, "You're not our mother," to which she replies, "Yes, I am," for a good half of the film was quite redundant and useless. Bad scripting led to poor characters, and poor characters lead to a boring film, and a boring film leads Steve giving a film a rate of three out of ten. 

The acting within the film was not terrible. I will give the actors, all three of them (there were a few other minor characters on film but they weren't present for nearly enough time to give them much credit), nods to their performances. Yes, the script was bland and not well thought out, but the actors were able to bring out the emotions and feelings of the characters well enough with what they had. A better script, however, would have made for much more engaging characters. 

I did adore the location of the film as the modern house with shadow and blurred vignettes of someone skewed across the walls gave Goodnight Mommy a fairly eerie presence. The surrounding area of the house was a natural wonderment and allowed the directors to shoot interesting shots of the boys out in the woods and the like. One of my favorite scenes follows the mother walking into the middle of the woods while stripping, only to jitter her head extremely fast to the point her face was blurred; that was good technique by the directors, and an awesome moment in the film. 


Since this film was advertised as a horror film, I expected Goodnight Mommy to actually be scary. It was not. There was not a single moment in the film where I got the chills, felt spooked, or wanted to shut my eyes. The attempts at anything horror related came from torture routines brought on by Elias and Lukas towards the mother. And even then that was not anything great; they used a magnifying glass to burn her skin. I understand that they are kids and that the directors did not want to create a torture porn film, however, what they did to their mother was laughable at best and showed that the boys were incompetent. 

Whatever Goodnight Mommy wanted to be it failed at. It does not provoke a good mystery film, it does not beckon forth a great horror film. It does, however, make anyone who watches it want to fall asleep. I really am not sure how critics praised the film meanwhile it was so lifeless. It is at times like this where I feel as if critics either got paid to write good reviews for the film, or have some sort of "Oh, this is artistic and I understand this movie so it is fucking great," attitude. No, Goodnight Mommy made me say, "Goodbye Movie," and I will never, ever watch this again. 


2
Brutal Resonance

Goodnight Mommy

3.0
"Terrible"
Genre: Horror
Director: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Writer: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Star actors: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
I read rave reviews and heard so many good things about the Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy from critics around the globe. It landed not only as one of the top foreign films of 2015, but also as one of the best horror films of the year. So, just two days ago I decided to give the film a shot in the dark with the hopes that this would not be another Babadook incident (the film was also given massive praise but I and many others absolutely hated it). Long story short, I should not have expected much from this film because it turned out to be one of the dullest movies I have ever experienced. The worst part about this movie is that it had a wonderful concept; it was just executed with a lack of style and a slower-than-snail-pace. 

Goodnight Mommy follows two young boys named Elias and Lukas (whose real life counterparts are named Elias and Lukas Shwarz) after their mother returns to their isolated, lakeside house after cosmetic surgery. When she puts down her foot, things do not seem to be normal. She refuses to talk to Lukas, she puts down some weird rules, and forces Elias to promise her that he will not talk to Lukas anymore. This leads the boys to believe that this bandaged-face woman is not actually their mother, but an imposter. Both Elias and Lukas then bound and capture the woman, and begin to torture her in order for her to let them know who she is and where their real mother is. 


As I stated above, the plot to the movie was what made me want to watch this film in the first place. Two boys not knowing whether or not the person who claims to be their mother is actually their mother could have made for an extremely interesting horror film. But, with a lack of dialogue that basically stems to the boys saying, "You're not our mother," to which she replies, "Yes, I am," for a good half of the film was quite redundant and useless. Bad scripting led to poor characters, and poor characters lead to a boring film, and a boring film leads Steve giving a film a rate of three out of ten. 

The acting within the film was not terrible. I will give the actors, all three of them (there were a few other minor characters on film but they weren't present for nearly enough time to give them much credit), nods to their performances. Yes, the script was bland and not well thought out, but the actors were able to bring out the emotions and feelings of the characters well enough with what they had. A better script, however, would have made for much more engaging characters. 

I did adore the location of the film as the modern house with shadow and blurred vignettes of someone skewed across the walls gave Goodnight Mommy a fairly eerie presence. The surrounding area of the house was a natural wonderment and allowed the directors to shoot interesting shots of the boys out in the woods and the like. One of my favorite scenes follows the mother walking into the middle of the woods while stripping, only to jitter her head extremely fast to the point her face was blurred; that was good technique by the directors, and an awesome moment in the film. 


Since this film was advertised as a horror film, I expected Goodnight Mommy to actually be scary. It was not. There was not a single moment in the film where I got the chills, felt spooked, or wanted to shut my eyes. The attempts at anything horror related came from torture routines brought on by Elias and Lukas towards the mother. And even then that was not anything great; they used a magnifying glass to burn her skin. I understand that they are kids and that the directors did not want to create a torture porn film, however, what they did to their mother was laughable at best and showed that the boys were incompetent. 

Whatever Goodnight Mommy wanted to be it failed at. It does not provoke a good mystery film, it does not beckon forth a great horror film. It does, however, make anyone who watches it want to fall asleep. I really am not sure how critics praised the film meanwhile it was so lifeless. It is at times like this where I feel as if critics either got paid to write good reviews for the film, or have some sort of "Oh, this is artistic and I understand this movie so it is fucking great," attitude. No, Goodnight Mommy made me say, "Goodbye Movie," and I will never, ever watch this again. 


Apr 16 2016

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
24
Shares

Top movies & TV

Requiem

Movies & TV, Apr 19 2018

A Quiet Place

Movies & TV, Apr 10 2018

Blade Runner 2049

Movies & TV, Oct 10 2017

It

Movies & TV, Sep 09 2017

Stranger Things: Season 1

Movies & TV, Sep 14 2016

Popular in movies & TV

The Jester

Movie, Jan 26 2017

Harvest Lake

Movie, Jan 26 2016

A Clockwork Orange

Movie, May 11 2015

Blade Runner 2049

Movie, Oct 10 2017

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016