Finally, a movie I regret not going to see in the theater. It has been such a long time since the last (which I guess is a good thing), but so many times recently I’ve had the opposite reaction, where I go see something on a whim and I REGRET spending the high price of admission. If only I could take back one of those misfires and replace it with a screening of Goodnight Mommy.
The film follows a pair of twins, rambunctious little whippersnappers, whose mother returns home from getting a face lift. Her face is almost completely covered in bandages, so the boys don’t know what to make of it and start to suspect that something sinister is going on. As their mother’s ever-increasing erratic behavior ramps up, the twins attempt to unravel the mystery of who, or what, is really in their home.
Goodnight Mommy does a great job of maintaining a child’s perspective. The twins have great chemistry, as one would assume twins would have, but it goes deeper than just acting alike. They are resourceful and creative, similar to the kid in The Babadook. Their activities, whether it be slap-boxing, a good old-fashioned burping contest, or harboring wild animals, give a vivid glimpse into the everyday lives of adventurous little boys. Wild animals, while we’re on the subject, play a big part in showcasing the boys’ interests. They are compassionate and caring, even to what most would consider are the least likable animals, cockroaches. The kids curate their own cockroach farm so, needless to say, if you can’t handle bugs then this movie is not for you. Or, maybe it is PERFECT for you, considering this is a horror flick.
Without spoiling anything, the film does have a TWIST. About halfway through I was ready to condemn Goodnight Mommy because I thought I had figured out what was going on way to early in the film, but I quickly realized the revelation was intended. I don’t think I have ever seen any type of film where the twist gradually unveils itself instead of the typical singular jolt. The movie starts off with eerie curiosity but changes tone completely by the end. Certain characters have questionable reactions and the ending could have used a little more work but the performances and plot tightly hold Goodnight Mommy together, making it a challenging and engaging film I would definitely watch again.
4 cockroaches out of 5