Home should be a place to unwind, relax, let your hair down, and feel more or less safe. It’s your base in the great tag game of life. This is why movies and stories about home invasions are so terrifying, because we can be literally taken off-guard by someone or something trying to get in to our haven. If the scary thing is already in the house, it becomes something much, much scarier, and if the scary thing in question is a once-beloved relative, especially a parent, well, it makes for some bad times all around.
All of these things are why the trailer for the Austrian film Goodnight Mommy looks especially unnerving. Twin boys, who don’t look much older than 8 or 9, live in a secluded house that looks like the modernist architect movement threw up on Frank Lloyd Wright, and their kindly young mother has returned following, I’m guessing, some horrible accident that disfigured her and caused her to need massive reconstructive surgery. She obviously doesn’t look the same at all, but the boys soon start realizing that she doesn’t act like the mother they once knew either. Is it all explained by her having suffered a huge trauma, or is there something altogether more malevolent invading their lives?
Goodnight Mommy looks to me like a great companion piece to our beloved The Babadook, a movie which slowly turned a loving but ever-fraying mother into a literal monster in the closet. The twins’ use of household weaponry and the making of their own masks is exactly the kind of fighting back little kids do. The mother, with her bandaged face, looks truly terrifying, especially with her extra-quick movements, and it looks like we’re in for a gnawing bad dream of a movie.
Goodnight Mommy opens in select U.S. cities August 15th, and judging by the response it got at Fantastic Fest, I think we’re in for a scary-ass time.
Let me know what you think of this trailer below!
Kyle Anderson is the weekend editor for Nerdist.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter!