Goodnight Mommy

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Austria | 2014 | 99 minutes | Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

Ich seh ich seh

Twin boys blur the line between nightmare and reality with their dark imaginations as their mother recovers from cosmetic surgery in their isolated country house. This atmospheric battle of wills is psychologically terrifying.

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This unsettling, atmospheric Austrian chiller is definitely inspired by the psychologically probing schools of Ulrich Seidle and Michael Haneke. Nine-year-old twins Lukas and Elias have the run of an isolated country house for the entire summer since their mother is recovering from recent cosmetic surgery. She spends most of her time with her face wrapped in heavy bandages, resting in dark rooms, and barely acknowledging the boys except for imposing strict rules about not leaving the house. The two eventually become restless and bored, retreating deep into their imaginations and immersing themselves in an aggressively anti-social existence. Lukas' and Elias’ anger and suspicion begin to warp their minds as they begin to doubt that the puffy, scarred-faced woman under the bandages is really their mother. This haunting battle of wills creates an effective portrait of a family in crisis while at the same time existing as a quality horror film—keeping audiences on the edge of their seat in psychological terror.

Director Biography
Born in Vienna in 1985, Severin Fiala has been writing and making films since the age of 11. She co-directed with Veronika Franz, the feature documentary Kern (2012) about the legendary Austrian hyphenate Peter Kern. Veronika Franz was born in Vienna in 1965 is a former film journalist and former casting director. She has been the co-scriptwriter and artistic collaborator on all of Ulrich Seidl‘s films since The Bosom Friend (1997).

Sponsored by Blanton Turner

  • Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
  • Principal Cast: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
  • Country: Austria
  • Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Producer: Ulrich Seidl
  • Screenplay: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
  • Cinematographers: Martin Gschlacht
  • Editors: Michael Palm
  • Music: Olga Neuwirth
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Thessaloniki Film Festival 2014 (FIPRESCI Prize)
  • Filmography: Kern (Doc, 2012)
  • Language: German
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Films Distribution