An Austrian television personality comes home to her remote, eerie house to recuperate from extensive plastic surgery. Swathed in bandages, she confronts her twin sons—and they don’t recognize her. She can’t persuade the boys that she’s their real mother, and her inability to remember basic information about her own life doesn’t help. She seems to scapegoat one of the boys as the troublemaker; she sometimes refuses to talk to him or even set a place for him at the table. The boys decide that this false mother is trying to tear them apart. They begin to resist her. She begins to get angry.
This is the basic setup for “Goodnight Mommy,” a chilling little thing that starts with a lullaby and ends with a conflagration. It would probably be fairly easy to guess the movie’s secret if it ever gave you a chance to breathe, but the suspense and dread ratchet up so relentlessly that there’s no time to think. This is a very effective psychological horror film, with supernatural hints.
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