Goodnight Mommy

Goodnight Mommy is a 2014 Austrian horror film which focuses on a boy afflicted with capgras syndrome. Written and directed by Veronica Franz and Severin Fiala, respectively, the film was an entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

The film starts with the return of a mother to her isolated lakeside house and her ten-year old twins, Elias and Lukas, after a cosmetic surgery. The face of the mother is covered with bandages and only her eyes and mouth can be seen by her children. As the children becomes bothered by their mother’s appearance, they also notice her starting to act strangely. It is also noticeable that she purposely ignores Lukas and prefers giving her attention to Elias only. Moreover, the mother orders the twins to keep all the blinds close even during the day, to always keep quiet inside the house, and to only play when they are outdoors. Their mother also hurt Elias when the boy has done something disobedient. The twins surmise that such behavior is something that their mother will never have.

After a while, they begin to suspect that their mother is an entirely different person, especially when they find an old photo showing their young mother with another woman wearing the same clothes as her. Thinking that the woman currently living with them is an impostor, the twins ties her up and tries to make her confess to tell where their real mother is. The twins also have to tape the mouth of the bandaged woman to keep her from making unnecessary noise.

Some people from the Red Cross arrive and ask for donation. They have wanted to wait for the twins’ mother but decide to just leave after Elias has given them money. The mother manages to remove the tape on her mouth but it is already late to ask for any help. As punishment, the twins glued her lips but eventually cut the lips open when they find out that the woman will not be able to eat.

After being set free for a while, the woman escapes but the twins have already set a trap for her and she is knocked unconscious after falling down. When she wakes, the woman finds out that she is glued to the floor. Elias then starts to burn the house in order to force the woman to confess.

However, the mother tells Elias that Lukas is already dead due to an accident and she begs Elias to just let her go. Elias tells her to prove that she is their mother but the woman fails to do so. Elias proceeds with burning down the house.

The movie ends with the twins being reunited with their real mother.

The movie was positively received by critics, scoring 85% in Rotten Tomatoes and rating average of 7.3 The film scored 81/100 in Metacritic, and it has been hailed as one of the Top 5 Foreign Language Films of 2015.