Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Pros
  • Features one of the most frightening yet intriguing trailer in years (seriously the trailer is gold!)
  • Gorgeous looking house (though every single door has a lock on it, which is a bit startling)
  • The mommy mystery is actually fantastic for the majority of the movie (ingenious idea)
  • Quite a bit of interpretation to be found, something a more mature/hardcore film fan can appreciate (not sure the general public will be as enthusiastic)
  • Two promising directors to keep your eyes on for future projects
  • Beatufiful scenery

Cons
  • The twist is one of the most predictable twists I've ever seen in a movie (completely ruined the movie for me)
  • The trailer is about ten times better than the actual film
  • Sadly, one of the more disappointing movies I've seen in a long time (based on reputation and the eerie trailer)
  • What kind of people just blatantly enter someone's house like that?
  • Develops into a light torture porn in the final 1/3 of the movie when is should have been focusing more on the psychological aspects
  • This is the type of movie people could totally tear apart its logic piece by piece

Score: 7/10

This is a glaring example of a twist-gone-wrong and how it can totally ruin a movie (honestly the movie could be rated a 6/10, but I bumped it up for keeping my interest most of the time). A huge twist is revealed extremely early in Goodnight Mommy and has the subtly of a sledgehammer, anyone over the age of 15 could probably see it coming. It's too bad because something like this really ruined the ride for me since I was just waiting for the revelation. Some people might be able to look past this and continue to focus on the overall mystery of who is their mother? But for me, it was a major blow.

But that's not to say the movie was garbage, it's not, it has quite a bit of tense/eerie moments to offer. Not to mention the overall atmosphere/tone of the movie is quite bleak. All of which pave the way for the creepy mommy mystery narrative, who is this woman and is she their mother or not? It's such a simple yet frightening idea that it's hard not to admire such a nerve-wrecking premise. Goodnight Mommy, for the most part, makes good use of the idea (but still a tad dissatisfying). The mother figure comes off as a complete psycho who is clearly hiding something from the two boys though we don't exactly know why.

This storyline has far more subtly to it than the other twist I was talking about before. The moment we meet the woman you can tell something is off and may not be who she says she is. She's harsh, scary, and cryptic, all of which helps distract from the other obvious part of the narrative. And while the final third of the movie may move into mild torture porn, it's not all bad, especially when it is quite shocking. So piece together some great cinematography, strong acting, and a fantastic premise, and you have one of the better horror movies of this year. Though I did find it a disappointing when compared to the fantastic trailer and early film festival buzz. And I personally didn't find the movie scary, nothing like the level of terror the trailer promised, I see the movie as being more of a psychological mystery than anything else (but then again, I found The Babadook terrifying).

So is this the next break out horror movie to join The BabadookIt Follows, and Cabin in the Woods as some of the best horror movies of recent years? Sadly no, not even close.

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