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In Goodnight Mommy, two young twins confined to an isolated country house transform their resentment towards their mother into an illusion about her identity.

eOne

3.5 out of 4 stars

Written by
Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Directed by
Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Starring
Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
Genre
Horror
Classification
14A
Country
Austria
Language
English

A mother returns home from the hospital, gauze covering most of her face – she's completely wrapped in ambiguity, as far as her look-alike young twin sons are concerned.

"She's not like our mom," one of them announces, and not without reason. She's almost an amnesiac, and a bit harsh, though more mommy weirdest than Mommy Dearest.

This precise, minimalist Austrian horror film deals in mysteries: Is this really the boys' mother? What was the nature of a previous accident? And what's with all the frozen pizzas in the freezer?

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The coldly artful thriller unsettles with its lights and darks – sun-splashed Austrian countryside here, shadows there; brotherly love here, a deeply distrusted mother there. The setting is remote; directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala seemingly have taken a shining to Stanley Kubrick.

There's a twist at the end – let's just say the boomerang is a clue.

The terror is sophisticated, chilling enough to set the hair of the art-house aficionados' goatees on end, but perhaps not to everyone's taste.

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