In 2015, From writer/directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, the original Austrian horror film Goodnight Mommy was released as a brazen, unflinching horror film coming from a country not known for its horror industry. Horror audiences are accustomed to creepy kids and mysterious events, but Goodnight Mommy pushed those ideas much further than the norm.
Now in 2022, this horror favorite is back starring Naomi Watts featuring a tale of twin brothers (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti) arriving at their mother’s (Naomi Watts) country home to discover her face covered in bandages. She sets strange new house rules, smokes in her bathroom, and secretly rips up a drawing they gave her, things their loving mother would never do. As her behavior grows increasingly more bizarre and erratic, a horrifying thought takes root in the boys’ minds: The sinking suspicion that the woman beneath the gauze, who’s making their food and sleeping in the next room, isn’t their mother at all.
Being a fan of Naomi Watts, my hopes were that this film would be worthy of her spectacular talents. It gives me no pleasure to say this remake just doesn’t cut the mustard. Between the ridiculously, laborious pacing and usual horror theme filled tropes including twins (ala The Shining), Goodnight Mommy doesn’t stand the test of time.
However, in addition to the Watts’ performance, Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti are more than convincing as terrified twins just wanting the love and support of their real mother. It’s unfortunate that their hard work doesn’t warrant the payoff that they deserve.