FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Jan 5, 2016

Horror Without People: GOODNIGHT MOMMY

Although I'd rank Goodnight Mommy amongst the best horror films of 2015, I'm still sussing out my thoughts and feelings about it. Damn that last 20 minutes or so–damn them I say! Unpleasant, they were, but not in a "Hey moron, this is a horror movie, don't get upset that you're uncomfortable" way, but rather in a "Oh, this is where we're going?" way. Nearly everything that preceded the third act was so intriguing that when things took a particularly nasty turn into Modern Horror Movie™ territory, it killed my boner a bit.

Regardless of that or my other minor quibbles, however, I was–and remain–enamored with the feel of it. It's very much about whatever good or evil lurks under the everyday fa├žade; obviously this is the entirety of the film's "Is this bandaged woman our mommy or not?" premise but the theme goes further than that, seeping into nearly every deliciously uncanny frame. This beautiful family in a beautiful house nestled amongst beautiful fields and waters–why does it all come across so creepy? What are they all hiding, what are they really thinking, what the hell is going on? The abnormal looks normal approach is nothing new, particularly in horror cinema ("Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut..."), but that doesn't mean I'm not gonna eat up fine filmmaking when I see it, you know?














11 comments:

AE said...

Brr! I loved this movie. Not quite what I was expecting, and I was surprised how OK I was with that. It's a creeper! The blurry framed fashion images on the wall were particularly brilliant.

Stacie Ponder said...

YES! I loved that as well, very nice touch. The whole thing is creepy...I guess the violent turn was a bit of a letdown for me but maybe on a second view it'll work better because I'll be expecting it? It kind of pulled me out of things the first time around.

AE said...

The violence was almost satisfying at first because Bandaged Mommy felt so mean and scary (poor kitty!), but then yeah, it turned things into a completely different movie from the one I had thought I was watching. I really liked how it played with your sympathies though and I feel like, even on a second viewing, I would spend the first part being terrified for the kids all over again.

highwayknees said...

I just wanted to say thank you all for not spoiling the ending for me. I have been putting off viewing this for a while since it is somewhat $$ on streaming-I'm waiting hoping it shows up on NF...but I might have to give in now!

BTW: Just watched Blackwood, a Brit film, on amazon prime last night and it had an intriguing somewhat more complicated ending than I expected. Everything dovetails expertly.After i thought about it The Shining seems to be a theme it uses-haven't seen that done before!Just wanted to alert you to a little known film that is worth a go.

Stacie Ponder said...

Blackwood, eh? Never heard of it! But then, there are a lot of things I've never heard of, I guess. I'm definitely intrigued, though, and will add it to my watch list, thanks!

As far as spoilers...there is always a risk around here but I try to be good about it, especially newer stuff that not everyone has seen yet. At the very least I attempt to give a big warning. I know it's chancy here on the the wilds of the internet, but sometimes I care about things being spoiled for me.

magla345 said...

looking at these pictures, i realized there's something a little bit creepy about cornfields close to a house like that - you can hide about anything in a cornfield.

Zach Murphy said...

Nice review. I loved the eerie mood in this film.

magla345 said...

i finally got to see this, it turned up on amazon prime. i did not get the bit with the bug...you know which one i mean.

Stacie Ponder said...

Yeah, that's one of a few confounding "horror movie moments" that work well in the trailer but don't make much sense in the film itself.

Colleen said...

I REALLY wanted to like this movie, but when the "twist" is so obvious that I guessed it within the first 15 minutes of the film and then hoped that wasn't the actual twist, but then it actually was...well, no matter how pretty the movie looked, it was just a mediocre film at best. Meh.

CashBailey said...

I watched this today.

I agree, there's a stretch of this movie that is incredibly twisted and tense. But it all falls apart with a twist that I've seen in too many movies.