Twin brothers arrive at their mother’s house and begin to suspect that something isn’t right. Remake of the 2014 Austrian film.

Editing: Maya Maffioli, Michael Taylor
Alex Weston

Cast:  Naomi Watts, Cameron Crovetti, Nicholas Crovetti, Peter Hermann, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Jeremy Bobb

Directors: Matt Sobel
Writers: Kyle Warren (screenplay by), Veronika Franz (based on the film “Goodnight Mommy” by), Severin Fiala (based on the film “Goodnight Mommy” by)
Cinematography: Alexander Dynan

For the most part, I had thought that the unnecessary foreign language horror film remakes phase had passed, but here’s Goodnight Mommy to remind all why these films don’t need to exist. The Prime Video remake of the 2014 Austrian film brings nothing new to the table, and it doesn’t deviate from the complaints levied against the original film either. Instead, it seems to exist only the bring the film to an audience that won’t watch films with subtitles.

Both this and the original film share the same plot, which is that of twin boys — this time played by Cameron Crovetti and Nicholas Crovettti — returning home to find their mother wrapped up in bandages. Naomi Watts is beneath the layers in the American remake, and she explains that she’s recovering from plastic surgery. But the twins begin to witness odd behaviour that doesn’t remind them of the mother they’d been missing. She’s smoking, ripping up their drawings and seems to have an aggressive attitude. So they begin to wonder if beneath those bandages is their mother or if it could be another woman entirely. 

Naomi Watts gives an excellent performance, given she’s restricted to portraying her emotions through just her voice and eyes. And a lot is happening with her eyes in Goodnight Mommy. The Crovetti boys are also very likable, and their real-life brotherly relationships transition well to the screen. 

It’s not that the Prime Video remake of Goodnight Mommy does anything necessarily bad; I’m just not sure why it exists. It’s mostly a straight remake with more extensive reliance on the ending working for the audience. Although the cast is good, they’re not as creepy as the original, and the film lacks the 35mm photography that made the 2014 film stand out. Like many streaming movies, Goodnight Mommy on Prime Video looks too clean and shiny. The film lacks any of the roughness that makes the original cut. 

If you hate reading subtitles, I’m shocked you’re reading this review, but secondly, I guess you can watch Goodnight Mommy. It’s a fine and totally unnecessary remake. If the trailer for this film interests you, I’d suggest everyone watch the original if they can.