Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to

Good Madam

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Deep messages, uneven story in creepy horror movie.

Movie NR 2022 92 minutes
Good Madam Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

I love movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scary, but fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a maddening psychological horror movie with a powerful message on apartheid and colonialism in South Africa. Good Madam uses the suspense of the genre to explore how power dynamics, economic disparity, and institutional racism continue to alter the lives and relationships between Blacks and Whites in that country, although it's easy to extrapolate these dynamics to other countries. While Tsidi feels alienated from the mansion where her mother, Mavis, has worked for so many years, her half-brother was raised in the mansion and seems to have assimilated so thoroughly that Tsidi calls him a "coconut." When Tsidi and her daughter, Winnie, move in after the death of Tsidi's grandmother, Tsidi tells Winnie that "it's not that Momma doesn't like the house, it's that the house doesn't like Momma."

What emerges, unfortunately -- and this is what makes it so maddening -- is a message without a story. In lulls in interactions, the movie spends time focusing on old photographs on the walls à la The Shining, or extreme close-ups and exaggerated sound effects of Mavis or Tsidi cleaning. It all has a point, but with a slow-burn movie like this, you want the payoff to be worth it. By the time the movie hits the climax, it feels unsatisfying. The movie keeps hinting at actual scares, but none are forthcoming. It's a disappointing experience, because there's a lingering sense that this should be better than it is.

Movie Details

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