Identity can be a tricky thing. We rely on our ability to recognize faces, voices, and bodies to distinguish our friends and family from strangers. But what if you could no longer be sure of someone’s identity through visual cues alone? That was the premise of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s 2014 Austrian thriller Goodnight Mommy. Next month, Prime Video is debuting the American remake of Goodnight Mommy with Naomi Watts in the leading role. And if the first trailer is any indication, Watts is absolutely terrifying in this film.
The story follows two brothers, Elias and Lucas, who are sent to stay with their mother at her remote country home. However, their mother greets them with surgical bandages on her face and claims that she just had some cosmetic work done. By itself, that’s not too suspicious. But it’s the little things that get the boys on edge, like the way their mother is suddenly a smoker or her newly draconian house rules. She even seems indifferent to them in a way that she never was before. All of this forces Elias and Lucas to conclude that they are alone with an imposter.
Although the trailer doesn’t offer a definitive look at the boys’ mother’s face without the bandages, it does seem to back up their suspicions. Once “mother” realizes that her sons doubt her identity, she brutally punishes them until they acknowledge her as their mommy. That’s definitely not an example of healthy mother-child behavior. But how far will the boys have to go to escape her?
In addition to Watts, the film features Cameron Crovetti as Elias and his real-life brother, Nicholas Crovetti, as Lucas. Peter Hermann also stars as the boys’ father, with Crystal Lucas-Perry as Sandy.
Matt Sobel directed the American remake of Goodnight Mommy from a script by Kyle Warren. Goodnight Mommy will premiere on Prime Video on September 16.
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