|GOODNIGHT MOMMY (ICH SEH, ICH SEH) (directors/writers: Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz; cinematographer: Martin Gschlacht; editor: Michael Palm; music: Olga Neuwirth; cast: Susanne Wuest (Mother), Lukas Schwarz (Lukas), Elias Schwarz (Elias), Hans Escher (Priest), Elfriede Schatz and Karl Purker (Red Cross Collectors), Georg Deliovsky (Pizza Delivery Guy), Christian Steindl (Sacristan), Christian Schatz (Farmer), Erwin Schmalzbauer (Accordion God); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Ulrich Seidl; Radius-TWC; 2014-Austria-in German with English subtitles)|
by Dennis Schwartz
Fiala & Veronika Franz ("Kern"/"Elephant
Skin") co-write and co-direct this disturbing and
intense arthouse splatter pic. It takes place in the
isolated Austrian country home of the twin boys (Lukas
& Elias Schwarz), who suspect mom (Susanne
Wuest) is not their mom.
radical cosmetic surgery, mom comes home from the
hospital with her face wrapped in bandages and acts
coldly toward the kids. Because of her aloofness the
twins suspect something is not right. The twins, now
ten, lead a sheltered life--have no visitors, collect
large beetles in a giant tank and are always together
playing. When mom's bandages are finally removed after
a long time and she reveals a perfect face, the kids
tie her up and demand to know what happened to their
this strange house, mom is visualized as a monster.
Dad is mentioned but never is around, and there are no
photos of him. The kids relate to no one else but mom
and see only a few residents from their community who
knock on their door. It's also strange that they are
fed only frozen food and are cruelly locked-up for a
long period for being too noisy. The most revealing
photo found is in an album that has mom posing with
another woman who looks like her twin.
a perverse surprise afoot before the final act turns
pic is well-crafted so that all things about its
bizarre nightmarish story can be explained, including
the dreams of the twins.
It won the MÉliès D'argent & Critics Prize for best feature film and the José Luis Guarner Critics' Special Mention in Sitges 2014.
REVIEWED ON 10/31/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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