Goodnight Mommy is the title on the lips of every horror fan this season, and if it's not on yours, it should be!
Goodnight Mommy is quickly becoming the most talked about title of the year. This eerie horror is making headlines across the globe with a trailer that has been dubbed by millions as the "scariest trailer ever made."
What's It All About?
Following major facial reconstructive surgery, a mother of two (Susanne Wuest) is finally allowed to return home. Waiting for her at home are her 9-year-old twin sons Elias and Lukas, but from the moment she steps back through the door...it quickly becomes clear that something is not right.
With scary faces hidden behind masks, eerie noises, jump scares, whispering twins and that constant feeling of imminent murder all mixed in with the massive potential for demons and ghosts to enter the fray, this has all the trademark elements to become an instant classic.
Bring on the Chills!
Let's Break Down This Momma Horror!
What we see straight away from the trailer is a sense of distance between the twins and the mother. The twins know that there is something off with their mother, but what is it?
We are first introduced to the mother as she is standing in the corner of a darkened room, continuously opening and closing blinds. When she's disturbed by the twins, she spins around in an almost primitive way. She turns at the hips, barely using her neck and not using any other part of her body. Are we already seeing evidence of something new to this world? Something still unsure of its surroundings and body? Or are we simply seeing postoperative trauma?
She's Always Watching...
She is then seen to be observing the boys as they play, but something is amiss with her version of a 'maternal glance.' See if you can spot it...she watches through semi-closed blinds and peers round corners. This is not typical behavior of a loving mother.
Lacking True Human Characteristics
At one point, she emerges from a doorway carrying cleaning products at the same time as one of the boys is trying to enter; they get caught in a normal everyday occurrence that shouldn't be awkward in any way, but in the scene the mother's actions are anything but ordinary...
It appears that she has no innate understanding of how to interact with the boy. This again brings into question her identity.
Is the Answer in the Woods?
She often ventures into the woods and the surrounding fields wearing very little and walking in an almost robotic manner, almost as if she were being controlled.
The Mysterious Figure in the Photo
The twins are increasingly perturbed by the goings on and decide to get out the family photo album - presumably taken from the mother’s closet at some point in between.
A key phrase can be found in this scene. As the twins are flicking through the album, they come across a picture of their mother and someone else.
This other person coincidentally looks very similar to their mother. As we know already, twins are a common thing within their family, could it be that the mother had a twin sister - or still does?
Can You Really Fool the Devil?
Following further disturbing revelations, the twins decide to take matters into their own hands and test the theory that this may not be their mother at all.
They cut their hair and match their clothes in an attempt to confuse her over which boy is which, a clever ruse that usually only a mother can see through.
The kicker for me, though, comes in at around 1:34. We see the sleeping mother awake suddenly after a giant cockroach is placed on her face, entering her mouth. She wakes up, stares off into the distance for a second then proceeds to crunch and eat the cockroach.
You can also see that she is basically smiling as she eats the massive bug. This only further shows that the mother is either not entirely there mentally, or more likely in the world of frights, she is being possessed by something sinister. This is definitely demonic-like behavior.
Fight Fire with Fire
The boys start taking action against what they now no longer believe is their mother. They fashion rudimentary weapons from pencils and other household items. They also create some pretty scary face masks of their own to wear.
As tensions rise, we are lead back into the woods where we see flashes of the dead stacked up in piles and fields all ablaze. Who is that scary man?
Things certainly look like they have gone to Hell in this once beautifully tranquil place.
Demon Fire & the Holy Cross
The trailer finishes up with an image of a crucifix in the foreground followed by a scene where an entire room is engulfed in flames. This again screams a religious and demonic force is at play.
So, what is really going on here? The only thing we know for sure is that the mother is not really the mother and the twins are terrified…
But, Is That True?
Let’s look at this from another angle. Let’s pretend that this time it’s the mother that is the victim, and the twins are the ones that are haunting her.
Let's take another look at that trailer, now considering the theory above:
A Victim, Scared and Alone
She returns to an empty house, potentially following a major accident in which she not only lost her face, but her entire family. The lone survivor of a horrifying accident who most likely blames herself.
But She’s Not Alone...
Strange things begin to occur in and around the house. She stands alone in her dressing room, lost and devoid of feeling, just mindlessly fiddling with the blinds when she hears something behind her. She spins, but upon seeing nothing, she remains blank and emotionless.
The Trampoline Is Empty
She stares blankly out of the window at the trampoline that her twin sons used to enjoy playing on so much. Reminiscing about how they sounded when they laughed and sang as they bounced.
The Pitter Patter of Feet in the Halls
As she hears noises in the hallways, hesitant and confused, she peers around the corners.
Face-to-Face with a Ghost
When cleaning the house, she emerges from a door and feels a presence. She feels something, but there is nothing in front of her. She walks on awkwardly but still confounded by what just happened, she looks back to see what it could have been...
She feels like she is being watched. When in the bathroom applying cream to the wounds on her face, the door behind her moves, she looks up to the mirror but sees nothing... again.
The Nightmares Begin
She begins to dream that she sees the boys again, but they are different. They hold a cold stare and appear in front of her stating that she is no longer their mother. Do they blame her for what happened to them?
She Hears Noises, Footsteps & Voices Around the House...
She dreams that she is in the middle of the woods surrounded by the remains of the brutal accident that killed her family.
Demonic Thoughts Cloud Her Vision
She is haunted by the visions of her children, she dreams of giant cockroaches and of fire. The image of the twins wearing scary masks follows her around the house, plaguing her.
Goodnight Mommy is an Austrian horror and comes from directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz. Two directors should make it twice as scary. It's set for release in September!