Directed by Matt Sobel, Goodnight Mommy is an American remake of the 2014 Austrian horror film of the same name and stars Naomi Watts and Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti.
Twin brothers Elias and Lucas (Cameron Crovetti and Nicholas Crovetti) arrive to stay at their mother’s (Naomi Watts) house, but they begin to suspect that something is wrong as her behaviour has changed. She has strict rules in place such as not being able to play in the sunlight and having to go to bed earlier than usual, not acting like the same loving mother that she once was. The twins decide try to figure out why their mother has changed but they have to attempt to do this without getting caught, as they are uncertain how they will be punished by their mother, especially with her change of attitude.
I quite like Naomi Watts as I feel that she has a lot of range, and she tends to be in interesting films. So, I was excited to see her play a creepy mother and even though I thought she did a good job with what she had to work with. Her character has recently had facial surgery, so she has her face covered with a protective mask. With that image, plus the character’s behaviour, this does make Watts’ character scary, but I still was expecting a lot more from her character and from Goodnight Mommy in general.
It felt to me like the film didn’t live up to its potential. It isn’t as creepy as I expected, it doesn’t develop any of its characters’, nor the story enough to make you feel invested in the film. There were some genuinely tense moments throughout the film where you would be worried that one of the twins would get caught, but those moments were so few and far between and they do not feel rewarding as the probably should have been. Another problem I had was with the ending which is unsatisfying, and it raises more questions than answers, leaving you guessing, which I am aware some might enjoy, but for me it makes the 91-minute duration that you devoted watching the entirety of the film feel like a waste of time.
Even though Naomi Watts did the best she could with what she was given, I felt that it was Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti that carried the film with their portrayals of the twins. Their performances were compelling enough that you do feel sorry for them because of how upset they are from their mother’s change in attitude, but you also want to support them when they are trying to find out why their mother has changed so much.
I also enjoyed how Goodnight Mommy mainly focused around the three main characters with only a couple of other characters being introduced at different points of the film as it showed that the twins were stranded in the middle of nowhere and that they had to fend for themselves as well as that they are stranded in a small remote town with their mother and no one nearby to save them except for themselves.
Goodnight Mommy is a film that backed by good acting performances and an interesting plot, but I do wish that the film’s execution had of been better to make the film a far more enjoyable viewing experience.
Goodnight Mommy will be available on Amazon Prime Video from the 16th of September 2022.