Goodnight Mommy

The screenwriting and directing duo of Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz has concocted a diabolical hybrid — a movie that taps into the current indie horror fascination with real slow-building chills, rather than a slavish adherence to the trend of the mo

click to enlarge 'Goodnight Mommy'
'Goodnight Mommy'

The screenwriting and directing duo of Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz has concocted a diabolical hybrid — a movie that taps into the current indie horror fascination with real slow-building chills, rather than a slavish adherence to the trend of the moment, found footage, which thankfully is exiting the frame, but with formal filmmaking nods to the psychology of evil that we’ve seen in the recent works of Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon, Funny Games). Goodnight Mommy preys upon the sometimes-unhealthy dynamics between parent and child; in this case, a mother (Susanne Wuest), recovering from appearance-altering plastic surgery, and her 9-year old twin sons (Lukas and Elias Schwarz), who believe she might not be their mother and prove willing to go to extreme lengths to uncover the truth. While certainly not for the squeamish, Goodnight Mommy seems to be an insidious modern-day follow-up to The White Ribbon, infused with the spooky spirit of an old-fashioned ghost story. (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) (R) Grade: B

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