Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Review: Aside from its reputation as bizarre Austrian submission for Academy Award, Goodnight Mommy is an eligible proof that gruesome picture has charms. While some skyscrapping praises and reviews were (in my opinion) overrated, this claustrophobic madness still finds its own joy in infuriating audiences—not with some cheap jump scare tricks or useless apparitions.

What Severine Fiala and Veronika write and draw kinda reminds me to Kim Jee-won’s Two Sisters in the first place: a tranquil lake house, siblings (in this case, twin brothers), a single parent (a mother here), and SPOILER ALERT! the similar twist. However, Goodnight Mommy isn’t that shallow. It (possibly) intentionally leaks its major twist during the first 10 minutes—letting audiences think they win; while at the same time, it cleverly suffocates them with layers of questions to make them doubt their initial claims.

Twins—Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz)—find peculiarity when their mother returns from a plastic surgery for her face. Implanting twins to the plot is definitely an annoyingly brilliant idea to twist perception. Severine and Veronika keep challenging audiences’ claim by creating atmospheric allusion that the twins’ mother is a definite maniac.

However, Goodnight Mommy isn’t always about the twist—the twist is one thing. As much as it’s prolonging a simple plot, it maintains its atmosphere and when it ends, there’s something that makes me feel eerie.

Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Ich seh, ich seh

Horror, Thriller Written & Directed by: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz Starred by: Susanne Wuest, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz Runtime: 99 mins Rated R


Selain reputasinya sebagai submission resmi Austria untuk Best Foreign Film Academy Awards, Goodnight Mommy adalah bukti nyata bahwa film mengerikan pun punya pesona. Beberapa pujian yang melangit memang sedikit berlebihan, namun horror klaustrofobis tetap punya caranya sendiri dalam merusak pikiran penontonnya—bukan dengan jumpscare murahan atau penampakan yang mubazir.

Yang coba ditampilkan Severine Fiala dan Veronika Franz sedikit banyak mengingatkan saya akan A Tale of Two Sisters karya Kim Jee-won: sama-sama di lakehouse, sama-sama melibatkan saudara kandung (dalam film ini malah kembar), sama-sama melibatkan single parent, dan tentunya dengan twist yang mirip. Namun, Goodnight Mommy tidak sedangkal itu.

Saya percaya Goodnight Mommy sengaja membocorkan twistnya bahkan sejak 10 menit pertama—membuat penonton merasa sudah menang. Padahal yang sebenarnya tengah ditampilkannya adalah menjejali pentonton dengan lapisan demi lapisan pertanyaan untuk meng-challenge klaim “I know the twist” di awal tadi.

Si kembar—Elias dan Lukas (Elias dan Lukas Schwarz)—menemukan kejanggalan semenjak ibu mereka kembali dari operasi plastik. Keputusan menampilkan protagonis kembar saja sudah langsung membuat frowning karena nampak jelas para penulisnya berniat mempermainkan persepsi penonton. Ditambah lagi dengan atmosfer mencekam serta ilusi seolah-olah ibu mereka adalah maniac tentu saja membuat persepsi makin terdistraksi.

Namun Goodnight Mommy bukan hanya tentang twistnya. Di balik plotnya yang seolah diseret, film ini adalah pameran atmosfer tidak nyaman serta pemutarbalikkan persepsi yang sangat menyebalkan yang menempel jauh setelah film selesai.

Goodnight Mommy movie review in this blog is written by Paskalis Damar. Review film Goodnight Mommy ini diterjemahkan ke dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh Paskalis Damar.

4 comments on “Goodnight Mommy (2015)

  1. I thought this sounded interesting at first, then I had a hunch about the ending and looked it up and saw I was right. It’s been done so many times. I may check it out on DVD just to see, because the premise was initially really interesting. Nice write up!

    1. Thanks, Brit! You know that kind of ‘twist’ is almost identical to many other thrillers, what wins me is how this movie seems to leak it from the beginning and force the audience to second doubt their claims. Pretty slick!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *