The directorial debut of Veronica Franz and Severin Fiala – Franz is the wife of acclaimed director Ulrich Seidl (Import/Export, the Paradise: Love trilogy) who produced the film – Goodnight Mommy was selected for the Austrian entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, and enjoyed instant acclaim on its screenings at Venice and Toronto.
Saturated in chilly dread, darkness and truly shocking acts of violence, it’s set in the heat of the summer in an isolated rural house, situated between woods and corn fields, where 10-year-old twins await their mother’s return after cosmetic surgery.
When she comes back her head is swathed in bandages and nothing is as it was before. Cold and psychologically remote, she shuts her family off from the outside world. Starting to doubt this woman is actually their mother, her sons determine to find the truth, whatever the means.
Be warned: it’s not an easy watch, and may appeal more to pre-existing fans of extreme horror. But Goodnight Mommy has also received more widespread acclaim; with the American National Board of Review naming it one of their Top 5 Foreign Language Films of 2015, and critics across the board recognising it as part of a new breed of arthouse horror.