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Morissa R. Freiberg Group

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Austin Hernandez
Austin Hernandez

Ich Seh Ich Seh

Goodnight Mommy had its world premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival on 30 August 2014 and was theatrically released on 5 January 2015, by Stadtkino Verleih. The film grossed $2 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its performances, direction and screenplay. It was selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[8][9]

Ich seh ich seh

After undergoing cosmetic facial surgery, a mother (Susanne Wuest) comes back home to her modern, isolated lakeside house with her ten-year-old twins, Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz). Her head is swathed in bandages, with only her eyes and mouth visible. The twins are unnerved with their mother's appearance and are further taken aback when she begins to exhibit strange behavior. She pointedly ignores Lukas and appears to only acknowledge Elias in conversation. Though it is the middle of summer, the mother orders the twins to keep the blinds closed during the day, imposes a strict rule of silence inside the house, and allows them to only play outdoors. The mother also acts cruel and lashes out at Elias physically when he displays mischievous or disobedient acts; something that the boys comment that their mother would never do.

The twins begin to suspect that beneath her bandages, their mother may not be the same person. These doubts are confirmed when they find an old picture that shows the mother together with another unknown woman who is wearing identical clothes and shares similar physical traits. With the suspicion that the woman residing in their house is an impostor, the twins tie the woman to the bed and refuse to let her go until she tells them where their real mother is. The woman insists that she is their mother, and the twins seal her mouth with tape to keep her from screaming for help.

In the meantime, two employees of the Red Cross appear to collect donations. Although they initially await the return of the mother, they finally leave the house after receiving a large cash amount from Elias, which he discreetly stole from his mother's purse. Meanwhile, the woman removes the tape and yells for help, but is too late to attract the Red Cross employees' attention. The twins seal her lips with Super Glue, only to cut them open with scissors when they realize she is unable to eat.

While still bound and trapped, the woman wets her bed. The twins briefly free her, allowing her to subdue the boys and escape. The twins, however, have set up a booby trap that knocks her unconscious. The woman wakes glued to the living room floor. Elias starts to burn down the house to pressure her into telling them the truth about their mother, but she firmly insists that she is the twins' real mother.

It is revealed by the mother that Lukas has died in an accident prior to the events of the movie. She tearfully explains to Elias that Lukas's death was not his fault and she begs her son to set her free so they can both move on from the tragedy. Elias challenges her to prove that she is their mother by telling them what Lukas is doing. As she cannot see the hallucinated Lukas threatening to set fire to a curtain, she cannot answer the question. Elias - believing that his real mother would be able to see Lukas - grabs his arm and lights up the curtain. The mother subsequently burns to death before the firefighters arrive. The film ends with a ghostly shot of the mother reunited with her twin sons at a cornfield near their home.

The film generally received positive reviews from critics.[11][12] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 85%, based on 145 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Dark, violent, and drenched in dread, Goodnight Mommy is perfect for extreme horror enthusiasts -- or filmgoers who prefer to watch between splayed fingers."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 81 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[14]

Here's the thing. When you rely on a twisty turny type of plot with a central mystery it's probably a good thing to actually make it a mystery and not spoil it in the first fifteen minutes of your film. Because if you do, no matter how much disturbing torture porn you throw at the screen, the only thing I'll feel is boredom while I watch a film going through its motions.

Whether it's a collection of rookie mistakes or genuinely believing your audience is made up of blithering idiots I'll never know. What I do know is that Goodnight Mommy is a well acted, beautifully shot collection of boring missed opportunities.

I don't really know what's happened, but it's been quite a long while since I've had an opinion go flipside on me in this manner. Granted the first moment in which I saw Goodnight Mommy I was most certainly a most impressionable moviegoer and I'd give away high ratings like candy, but upon thought my opinion of this horror film had slowly been going down over time. I got caught up in a lot of hype thanks to the trailer, and it's unfortunate what happens to the best of us is that sometimes we get very caught up in something overtly exciting then when we think about it more, it's not as great as we thought at first.

10 minutes into Goodnight Mommy, a little chiller directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, I guessed the twist. At first, I was in denial. Surely it wasn't THAT? I mean, come on. No fucking way. I figured that its patient storytelling was building to a straightforward knockout rather than succumbing to a final revelation, but sadly, my worst fear came true. This is an unsettling movie that takes its outrageous premise as a basis, building and building to a operatic ending, that while visually interesting, does nothing to horrify because of how goddamn predictable it all is. Many have said of its effectiveness when you know of the film's conclusion, but the ominous quality of the entire production weakens what could've been a devilish midnight movie. The ambition is admirable, but misguided.

Not since Michael Haneke unleashed a pair of psychotic young sadists on an unsuspecting family in his original 1997 Funny Games has a summer getaway in the peaceful Austrian countryside seemed less like a vacation. A wicked little chiller full of foreboding and malevolent twists, Goodnight Mommy is the first narrative feature from writer-directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, respectively the partner and nephew of producer Ulrich Seidl. As that connection might imply, this insidious tale of a mother-son bond gone haywire is squirm-inducing stuff. It has cult potential stamped all over it.

Franz and Fiala kick off on a sly note with the most wholesome image of Austrian family togetherness, the Von Trapp children and their stepmother singing a sweet lullaby. The co-directors then jump to a bracing sequence set within the vivid green foliage of a cornfield, where Lukas and Elias (played by brothers Lukas and Elias Schwarz) are in the midst of a vigorous game of tag. The sinister homemade animal mask worn by one of the boys sets up the disturbing recurring motif of hidden faces.

There are plenty of variations on familiar horror tropes here, including some very nasty business with roaches, a graveyard tomb visit, telling nods to Catholicism, a standard childhood science experiment that becomes a torture method, jolting displays of Cronenbergian body horror and what looks like a Damien Hirst art installation involving a stray cat.

In the interview, the makers have stated that the film was inspired by a reality show which gave mothers, from various families, do-overs and how the children would be in dismay looking at their new, beautiful and completely unrecognizable mothers.

Over the days, her behaviour is erratic and distant. She wants to rest and has ordered a ton of frozen food for her and Elias. She refuses to play along and talk to Lukas. It gets to a point where she even beats and threatens Elias to stop talking to his [dead] brother.

One of the ways to explain the crappiness of horror films is that out of all the film genres in the world, horror is the easiest on filmmakers in terms of finances. This can be a really great thing, as it means that emerging filmmakers can get into the industry with limited means and a low budget. But, obviously, this also means that the genre suffers quality-wise. By choosing to make a horror film, filmmakers with no talent can make a profit without even trying. So, why try? Thus, the crappy horror movie.

I would not at all say that this was a bad movie, or a bad horror movie. But I do think that it was a bit of a missed opportunity, as these directors can clearly handle great visuals, great actors, and psychological ideas within the horror genre. So while this review has been highly negative, it is not because I think this film is of poor quality at all. In fact, I am often harsher with things that I used to like or could have liked, because I can see so much potential in them. I want good movies to be good and want horror movies to be more than gore, so it makes sense to me to point out where a good, promising film could have been great.

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By the time these releases go on sale, Black Friday and even Cyber Monday will be over. It's not a good time to release a DVD or Blu-ray just after a major sale has ended. People tend to not have a lot of money left to spend, so, unsurprisingly, there are no top-tier releases this week. However, there are lots of limited releases and specialty items that are worth checking out. (Including four releases where I'm still waiting for screeners.) There are a number of Pick of the Week contenders, but I'm going with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIV. And while you are buying that DVD, throw a few bucks to the Kickstarter. I would love to see a full 12-episode season. More...Per Theater Chart: Feeling the LoveNovember 5th, 2015 041b061a72


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