Goodnight Mommy is a slow-burning horror/thriller from Amazon Studios. Starring Naomi Watts (Once Upon a Time in Staten Island and Infinite Storm) and actor twins, Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti, this Amazon original is a low-budget movie with a sinisterly haunting edge.
Goodnight Mommy – Storyline
When twins, Lucas and Elias, arrive home from their father’s house, they are told their mother might not be herself and to behave themselves for her. On first entering the house, their mother is nowhere to be seen but eventually emerges in her bedroom, donning a surgical face mask.
Sensing the fear coming from her offspring due to her appearance, she explains that she’s still the same mommy they know and love under the mask. However, as time goes on, the fearful pair soon begin to have doubts.
Their mom, in fact, seems like a whole new person. She uncharacteristically snaps at them for the smallest of reasons; tears up a picture Elios drew for her; they catch her dancing strangely in the mirror and, of course, there are the mysterious phone calls overheard, in which she sounds desperate when explaining to the unknown voice on the other end that she “can’t keep on pretending like this”.
With all the signs pointing to an imposter, the boys set out to get to the bottom of the puzzling changes and, more importantly, find out what happened to their real mother.
Goodnight Mommy – Slow but Engrossing
Goodnight Mommy, while slow, uses the time perfectly to build the story up and leave the viewer guessing and speculating (in our case) about how the story is going to unfold. Throughout the whole movie, something doesn’t quite feel right about something, just out of the reach of the mind’s ken. This is a shining testament to both the writers (Kyle Warren, Veronika Franz, and Severin Fiala) and the director (Matt Sobel).
Rather than answer any inner questions, the movie drip-feeds more and more mystery, until the bombshell of an ending lands, and all of the proverbial pennies drop into place.
Goodnight Mommy – Small Cast
There’s an age-old adage of “many hands make light work”, and Goodnight Mommy proves this to be true. Many may be put off by the fact that there are only three characters that hog the 92-minutes of screen time. However, this gives the writers a perfect opportunity to build characters and, in turn, a plot. Without a magnitude of different characters, Goodnight Mommy is easy to follow and doesn’t deter from the main story.
Admittedly, the cast is hardly formed of all-star veterans of Hollywood but again, this isn’t something that should stop you from watching the movie. The talent of the three main characters is abundantly clear throughout the entirety of Goodnight Mommy. A medley of emotions are portrayed with excellent skill by all three lesser-known actors and it’s these performances that give Goodnight Mommy its sinister edge; its ability to keep you guessing and conjure a haunting quality to the twisting tale of a somewhat troubled family.
Goodnight Momma – Summary
Goodnight Momma isn’t going to win any awards for being pacey or eventful. However, the slow-burning of the storyline wick goes to create suspense rather than lose the interest of the audience. The questions are planted in our minds with precision timing, offering more intrigue as opposed to having us reach for the remote. It takes a special kind of skill to pull a slow-paced movie off, especially with so few actors, and the team behind Goodnight Momma show this in great abundance.
If you’re looking for a horror movie to leave you laying awake at night, then I’d avoid this. However, if you want to be engrossed with a solid but simple plot, look no further.