By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Under a mask for most of the runtime, lead actor Naomi Watts makes an ominous presence in the 2022 horror thriller ‘Goodnight Mommy’, a remake of Austrian film ‘Ich Seh, Ich Seh’ by Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz. And while I haven’t seen the original, just by the trailer, one can tell it’s perhaps a lot more frightening than its watered down reboot.

The Hollywood version is directed by Matt Sobel, starring Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti as twin brothers Elias and Lukas, who are dropped off at their mother’s rather remote property and to their surprise her face is covered up in a mask due to a cosmetic surgery. The children begin to suspect if the woman is really their mother when she doesn’t seem to be as caring as they remember her to be. What follows next is the brothers’ attempts to investigate who they are sharing the house with.

What could’ve been a gripping, chilling tale, is weakened by the lukewarm performances of the Crovetti twins. Twins in real life too, the kids aren’t able to emote the intensity of emotions the script demands from them. While in ‘Ich Seh, Ich Seh’, the mother is wrapped up in bandages that look like she did undergo a medical procedure, in ‘Goodnight Mommy’ Naomi’s character wears a mask befitting a creepy burglar.

The director and make-up department need share blame for doing a lazy job, one can easily see through Naomi’s almost translucent ‘bandages’ and her skin seems perfectly fine. It’s laughable that the kids have a hard time understanding if the lady is their mother. Owing to the shoddy mask, the movie never gets scary enough and probably has just one good jump-scare.

A lot of the scenes in the first half of the movie raise some pertinent questions and an interesting climactic twist does explain a lot of things that not quite make sense. Some viewers might even be able to guess the twist (I didn’t), while others will be thrown off the track by some deliberate misleading dialogues. For thriller fans who haven’t seen the original Austrian film, ‘Goodnight Mommy’ is a decent one-time watch.

It’s a 5/10 from me. You can stream it on Amazon Prime Video.

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