Goodnight Mommy

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Goodnight Mommy
Goodnight Mommy.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
  • Veronika Franz
  • Severin Fiala
Produced byUlrich Seidl
CinematographyMartin Gschlacht
Edited byMichael Palm
Music byOlga Neuwirth
Distributed byStadtkino Verleih[1]
Release dates
  • 30 August 2014 (2014-08-30) (Venice)
  • 8 January 2015 (2015-01-08) (Austria)
Running time
100 minutes[2]
Box office$2.2 million[3]

Goodnight Mommy (German: Ich seh, Ich seh, lit.'I see, I see'[a]; UK: Goodnight Mummy) is a 2014 Austrian psychological horror film, written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala.[5][6][7] The film stars Susanne Wuest and twin actors Elias and Lukas Schwarz, and follows the complex relationship between twin boys and their newly-returned-from-the-hospital mother in a large isolated house. The boys begin to question the woman's identity, believing that she isn't the same person as the one who went to surgery, and therefore wondering if she is their real mother.

Goodnight Mommy had its world premiere at the 71st Venice International Film Festival on 30 August 2014 and was theatrically released on 5 January 2015, by Stadtkino Verleih. The film grossed $2 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its performances, direction and screenplay. It was selected as the Austrian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.[8][9]

An American remake of the film starring Naomi Watts was released on Amazon Prime Video on September 16, 2022.[10]


After undergoing cosmetic facial surgery, a mother (Susanne Wuest) comes back home to her modern, isolated lakeside house with her ten-year-old twins, Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz). Her head is swathed in bandages, with only her eyes and mouth visible. The twins are unnerved with their mother's appearance and are further taken aback when she begins to exhibit strange behavior. She pointedly ignores Lukas and appears to only acknowledge Elias in conversation. Though it is the middle of summer, the mother orders the twins to keep the blinds closed during the day, imposes a strict rule of silence inside the house, and allows them to only play outdoors. The mother also acts cruel and lashes out at Elias physically when he displays mischievous or disobedient acts; something that the boys comment that their mother would never do.

The twins begin to suspect that beneath her bandages, their mother may not be the same person. These doubts are confirmed when they find an old picture that shows the mother together with another unknown woman who is wearing identical clothes and shares similar physical traits. With the suspicion that the woman residing in their house is an impostor, the twins tie the woman to the bed and refuse to let her go until she tells them where their real mother is. The woman insists that she is their mother, and the twins seal her mouth with tape to keep her from screaming for help.

In the meantime, two employees of the Red Cross appear to collect donations. Although they initially await the return of the mother, they finally leave the house after receiving a large cash amount from Elias, which he discreetly stole from his mother's purse. Meanwhile, the woman removes the tape and yells for help, but is too late to attract the Red Cross employees' attention. The twins seal her lips with Super Glue, only to cut them open with scissors when they realize she is unable to eat.

While still bound and trapped, the woman wets her bed. The twins briefly free her, allowing her to subdue the boys and escape. The twins, however, have set up a booby trap that knocks her unconscious. The woman wakes glued to the living room floor. Elias starts to burn down the house to pressure her into telling them the truth about their mother, but she firmly insists that she is the twins' real mother.

It is revealed by the mother that Lukas has died in an accident prior to the events of the movie. She tearfully explains to Elias that Lukas's death was not his fault and she begs her son to set her free so they can both move on from the tragedy. Elias challenges her to prove that she is their mother by telling them what Lukas is doing. As she cannot see the hallucinated Lukas threatening to set fire to a curtain, she cannot answer the question. Elias - believing that his real mother would be able to see Lukas - grabs his arm and lights up the curtain. The mother subsequently burns to death before the firefighters arrive. The film ends with a ghostly shot of the mother reunited with her twin sons at a cornfield near their home.


  • Susanne Wuest as Mother
  • Elias Schwarz as Elias
  • Lukas Schwarz as Lukas
  • Hans Escher as Priester
  • Elfriede Schatz as Rotkreuz Sammlerin
  • Karl Purker as Rotkreuz Sammler
  • Georg Deliovsky as Pizzalieferant
  • Christian Steindl as Mesner
  • Christian Schatz as Bauer
  • Erwin Schmalzbauer as Akkordeongott


The film generally received positive reviews from critics.[11][12] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 85%, based on 145 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Dark, violent, and drenched in dread, Goodnight Mommy is perfect for extreme horror enthusiasts -- or filmgoers who prefer to watch between splayed fingers."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 81 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[14]

The National Board of Review named Goodnight Mommy one of the Top 5 Foreign Language Films of 2015.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In German, this is part of the phrase used for the game "I spy": Ich seh, Ich seh, was du nicht siehst, "I see, I see, what you do not see."[4]
  1. ^ "Goodnight Mommy". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "GOODNIGHT MOMMY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2016-02-22. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
  3. ^ "Goodnight Mommy (2015)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
  4. ^ ""Ich seh Ich seh": Immer diese schreckliche Ungewissheit". DER STANDARD.
  5. ^ Goodnight Mommy at IMDb
  6. ^ "Polished, nasty film Goodnight Mommy has cold, distant manner". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  7. ^ "Is The 'Goodnight Mommy' Trailer The Scariest Of All Time?". Music Television. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
  8. ^ "Oscars: Österreich reicht "Ich seh, ich seh"". Kurier. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-09-02.
  9. ^ "Austria Selects Goodnight Mommy as Oscar Bid". Film New Europe. 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2015-09-08.
  10. ^ "'Goodnight Mommy' Trailer: Naomi Watts Leads Amazon's Reimagining of Austrian Psychological Thriller". 2022-08-24.
  11. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2015-09-10). "Review: Twin Terrors Haunt 'Goodnight Mommy'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  12. ^ Dowd, A.A. (2015-09-10). "Guessing the twist won't save you from the horrors of Goodnight Mommy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  13. ^ "Goodnight Mommy". Rotten Tomatoes. 2022-10-04.
  14. ^ "Goodnight mommy". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  15. ^ "National Board of Review Announced 2015 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved 2015-12-01.

External links[edit]