Goodnight Mommy - Naomi Watt’s Amazon Thriller
"Goodnight Mommy" is a captivating psychological thriller available on Amazon Prime that effectively utilizes the unsettling concepts of plastic surgery bandages and identical twins. It is a remake of the original 2014 Austrian film, directed by Matt Sobel and written by Kyle Warren, with the talented Naomi Watts taking on the lead role as "Mother."
Throughout the majority of the film, Watts' character remains veiled in gauze, adding to the air of mystery and suspense. Accompanying her are the young and talented twin actors, Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, who play her twin sons. As the story unfolds, the twins become increasingly suspicious of their mother's true identity, leading to a gripping exploration of trust and deception.
"Goodnight Mommy" falls more into the genre of psychological thriller rather than a horror slasher film, so it's not overly scary. It doesn't rely on gore, blood, or explicit imagery. Instead, the movie thrives on the gradual development of psychological mind games.
However, it still manages to evoke a sense of fear by exploring the unsettling notion that those closest to you may not be trustworthy. If you're interested in delving further into the details, continue reading for a plot summary of Goodnight Mommy as well as an explanation of the film's ending.
Goodnight Mommy - Official Trailer | Prime Video
In the gripping psychological thriller "Goodnight Mommy," twin brothers Elias and Lucas are reunited with their mother after a prolonged separation. However, upon their arrival, they are taken aback by their mother's face, which is concealed by a bandage, supposedly due to recent cosmetic surgery.
Their mother's peculiar behavior further adds to their suspicions. She imposes strict rules, forbidding them from entering certain areas of the house, receiving visitors, and insists on keeping the blinds closed for her recovery. She displays erratic emotions, becoming easily angered, yelling at the boys, and even handling them roughly. Moreover, she refuses to sing them their cherished bedtime song.
Driven by curiosity, the boys venture into the off-limits barn, where Elias discovers a bloodstain, triggering their doubts about their mother's true identity. Their attempts to contact their father are met with resistance as their mother confiscates and destroys their shared phone. Fearing for their safety, the boys escape and seek refuge in a neighbor's barn.
They manage to encounter the police and reveal their unsettling circumstances. However, instead of providing the promised safety, the police inexplicably return them to their mother's house, captivated by her celebrity status as an actor, neglecting to thoroughly investigate the twins' allegations of abuse.
As Elias and Lucas reenter the house, they find their mother with the bandages removed, revealing an uncanny resemblance to their real mother. Additionally, they learn that their mother is a renowned actress, causing the officers to dismiss the twins' claims and dishearten their pursuit of justice.
Overhearing a conversation between their mother and the police, Elias discovers a disturbing account in which she fabricates an explanation for an injury, blurring the line between reality and fantasy. The police brush off the incident as children's imaginations, assuring her it will pass.
Despite the outward resemblance, Elias and Lucas remain skeptical, believing that their real mother has been replaced by a stranger who underwent facial reconstruction surgery. Taking matters into their own hands, they restrain their mother with duct tape, intending to present evidence that her eye color differs from their genuine mother's. Mother pleads for their trust, attributing her blue eyes to colored contact lenses she wears for work.
Their plans take an unexpected turn when the police arrive at the house. Sensing something amiss, one of the officers insists Elias confide in her, determined to uncover the truth. Elias hesitates, torn between loyalty to his brother and the desire for justice, but ultimately discovers the colored contact lenses in their mother's purse. Rushing to release her, he realizes the significance of his actions.
The intense narrative of "Goodnight Mommy" reaches its climax as the truth gradually unravels, leaving Elias and Lucas with haunting questions about their mother's identity and the disturbing events surrounding them.
In a heart-wrenching twist in the story of "Goodnight Mommy," Elias, now convinced that something is amiss with Lucas, seeks solace in the arms of Mother. She leads him to the forbidden barn, assuring him not to worry about his brother's whereabouts.
Inside the barn's attic, she compels Elias to confront the bloodstain on the wall. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Elias breaks down in tears, refusing to gaze at the haunting evidence. Mother persists, insisting that this is their harsh reality and urges Elias to face it, discarding any pretense.
As the film progresses, attentive viewers may begin to realize that all the interactions involving the twins were actually with Elias and not Lucas. Upon rewatching, it becomes evident that Mother's anger is consistently directed at Elias, not Lucas.
Furthermore, her responses and dialogue solely address Elias, while Lucas seems to remain silent. This revelation suggests that Lucas was merely a creation of Elias's imagination, a coping mechanism his mind conjured to shield him from a traumatic truth. This newfound understanding sheds light on various peculiarities observed throughout the film, such as the twins sharing a phone and Lucas's inherent distrust towards Mother.
These elements can now be interpreted as manifestations of Elias's protective instincts, attempting to shield him from the painful reality. Moreover, Elias's perception of Mother's emotional distance can be understood as a construct he devised to rationalize her changed behavior.
The intricate layers of "Goodnight Mommy" gradually peel away, exposing the profound psychological impact of the trauma Elias has experienced. The film invites audiences to contemplate the devastating effects of trauma on the human mind and the desperate measures taken to protect oneself from confronting unimaginable guilt and pain.
In an intense moment, Elias ties his mother to the bed and interrogates her, refusing to believe that she is his real mother. Despite her apologies for past mistakes, Lukas remains unconvinced. Lukas plans to escape the house with Elias, preparing for their departure. However, Elias is unwilling to give up on their mother.
He questions her about her eyes, which he remembers being green in old photos. She tries to explain that she wears colored contact lenses, claiming to have them in her bag. Lukas checks the bag and finds no lenses, concluding that their mother is lying. He remains unaffected by her tears, but Elias becomes emotional.
Meanwhile, the police arrive to check on them and Elias lies to the police, stating that their mother is not at home. Though unsatisfied with his answer, the police do not have time to investigate further.
Lukas and Elias leave their home, leaving their mother tied to the bed with her mouth taped shut. Elias pretends to have forgotten his toothbrush and quickly returns to the house. He checks the bag and discovers the contact lenses and it dawns on him that Lukas had lied to him.
Lukas stands behind Elias, urging him to trust him and not believe their mother. Elias reaches a breaking point and pushes Lukas aside, entering his mother's room and locking the door.
Elias unties his mother and breaks down in her arms, realizing that it was Lukas who had been manipulating him all along. Seeking his mother's help, Elias expresses concern for Lukas. Meanwhile, his mother asks Elias to accompany her to the barn.
Inside the barn, his mother encourages Elias to confront the reality reminding him of the accident where he unknowingly played with a loaded gun, resulting in Lukas's accidental death. Struggling to accept the truth, Elias screams at his mother to stop, pushing her off an elevated surface. She falls to the ground, and the lantern's fire ignites the hay and wood, engulfing the barn in flames. Elias, overwhelmed by the situation, runs for his life.
In a state of confusion and disbelief, Elias looks up and sees his mother standing unaffected by the fire, and behind her is Lukas. His mother extends her hand to Elias, and the three of them leave together, mirroring a picture Elias had drawn.
Elias, unable to cope with Lukas's death, lives in denial. To preserve his comfort and illusion, he imagines Lukas by his side. However, his mother refuses to participate in his delusion and becomes a figure representing the devil in his eyes.
Elias denies the bloodstains in the barn, convincing himself it is just red paint. Faced with a choice between reality (his mother) and fantasy (Lukas), Elias struggles. In the end, unable to accept the truth, he pushes his mother away and incorporates her into his fantasy world.
Denying his responsibility for his mother's death, Elias imagines that the barn accident was nothing more than a bad dream. He walks away with his mother and brother, finding balance in his altered reality.
"Goodnight Mommy" delves into the lives of broken individuals. The mother, having lost her son and undergone a surgical procedure to regain her youthful self, is haunted by reminders of the accident and the destruction of her seemingly perfect life. Her behavior becomes abusive as Elias constantly reminds her of her painful past.
Elias, traumatized at a young age, refuses to accept reality and constructs a world where his deceased brother still exists. He lives in a fractured mental state, evaluating situations from both his own perspective and that of Lukas. Elias, lonely without his brother and distanced from his mother due to the separation, uses his fantasy world as a coping mechanism for loss and loneliness.
"Goodnight Mommy" began streaming worldwide on September 16, 2022. Goodnight Mommy can be streamed on Prime Video, which offers a standalone subscription in the US at a current price of $8.99 per month or $108 per year. If you're interested in trying it out before committing, a 7-day free trial is available. Viewers located outside the US can visit the Prime Video website to obtain information about the subscription rates in their respective regions.
Currently you are able to watch "Goodnight Mommy" streaming on Hoopla or for free with ads on VUDU Free, Tubi TV, Redbox, Pluto TV.
Goodnight Mommy is rated R by the MPAA for some language. Violence: Blood is seen on a wall. A child sustains a scratch to the arm. A child is sprayed with icy cold water.
Is the Goodnight Mommy remake better than the original? Ultimately, Sobel's remake of Goodnight Mommy ditches the original's shocking scenes of violence and forces narrative opportunities to fully answer questions left unanswered by Franz and Fiala.
"Goodnight Mommy" is a psychological thriller that relies on mind games rather than traditional horror elements. It explores the theme of trust and challenges viewers to question the authenticity of those closest to them.The film follows the psychological turmoil experienced by Elias, who refuses to accept the death of his twin brother and creates a fantasy world to cope with his grief. Ultimately, "Goodnight Mommy" delves into the fractured psyches of its characters, delving into the consequences of loss and the desperate attempts to maintain illusions.