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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive Role Models
No positive role models in creepy horror movie -- plot twists reveal no one is who the audience thinks they are. Police officers are distracted and useless.
One of the secondary characters is a Black woman.
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Violence & Scariness
Horror imagery, including a nightmare in which the other is ripping off her human skin to reveal alien skin before she attacks one of her sons. Talk of an accidental shooting death. Some disturbing scenes of child abuse, as a mother slaps her son (a cut on his lower lip appears shortly after), drags him into a bathtub, and douses him in water after he denies that she's his mother. A mother is tied up in bed by her sons, then gagged. Peril as twin boys hide from their mother, in the house or in their beds.
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Some strong language. "F--k" used a few times. "Ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A mother smokes cigarettes, drinks wine, drinks wine while taking sleeping pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Goodnight Mommy is a 2022 psychological horror movie in which twin boys reunited with their mother suspect that she's actually someone else. This is a remake of the 2014 Austrian movie of the same title. There are some disturbing moments of abusive behavior from the mother to her kids, including a scene in which one of the boys, after telling the woman that she's not his mother, is slapped hard in the face (a scab appears on his lower lip shortly after) and then dragged into the bathroom, where he's showered with water until he says that she's his mother. A mother is tied up in bed and then gagged by her sons. Talk of an accidental shooting death. Horror imagery, peril, suspense. Some language, including "f--k." Wine drinking, cigarette smoking, taking sleeping pills while drinking wine. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an unsettling psychological horror movie that's slightly dragged down by horror movie cliches. Goodnight Mommy starts off with a cool premise: Twin boys reunited with their mother who's recuperating from surgery that has her face covered in bandages are convinced that her erratic and cold behavior towards them is due to this person not being their mother. Their imaginations run wild with speculation as to who their mother really is, and it's initially fun to play along as the audience, but after one "hint-hint" and plot twist too many, it doesn't take that long to suss out that nothing is what it seems, and the proverbial "big reveal" comes across as disappointing and rushed.
It's unfortunate, because the acting is strong across the board, and after everything more or less makes sense, the quality of Naomi Watts' performance is all the more rewarding. By all accounts, the original 2014 Austrian movie on which this is a remake is the better and more disturbing movie, and also does more to heighten what's really happening. That said, it's still a fun watch despite the tropes of horror movie cops who don't do their jobs, head-fake scenes that are just nightmares, jump scares, etc.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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