Monday, December 21, 2015

"Ich seh, ich seh AKA/ Goodnight, Mommy" (2014) d/ Veronica Franz, Severin Fiala

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To get the aftertaste of the latest overhyped sci-fi dud out of my mouth a few nights ago, I returned to my comfort zone by way of this nasty little Austrian number co-directed by Veronica Franz and Severin Fiala that features unforgettable performances from Susanne Wuest and the Schwarz twins, Lukas and Elias, in effectively delivering the genre goods in glorious 35 mm. After enduring two plus hours of  recycled dialog, characters, and entire scenes in some instances at the theater, all of which were cringingly applauded by the spaz army in attendance all around me (yes, even the trailers of coming attractions, minus The Jungle Book live action remake for some reason that I haven't quite figured out, since it was all shit), it was just what the Dr. (Butcher) ordered, and I was instantly glad I did.

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"Are you in here eating tafelspitz after bedtime, boys?"
We meet twin ten year old brothers Elias and Lukas (Elias and Lukas Schwarz) as they carelessly play out an endless summer day in their countryside estate;  trodding through the surrounding fields and forest, sampling the nearby lake and exploring foreboding caverns with their flashlights. That is, until their mother (Susanna Wuest) returns from a cosmetic surgery that's left her looking more than a little like a bloodshot-eyed Amenhotep I. To compound matters, she's suddenly mistaken authoritarian rule for good parenting, demanding the house remains in darkness at all times, turning away any and all visitors, while creepily goosestepping around the shadows, and ignoring poor Lukas altogether, in the process. The boys, convinced that they're in the presence of an impostor, naturally proceed to spy on and prank their sour-pussed mom with hidden baby monitors and hissing cockroaches from Madagascar.

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Subconjuctival hemorrhage. Try cold compresses... and no selfies for thirty days.
When a ragged stray cat the boys have adopted turns up dead in the cellar, they blame their gauze-faced matriarch, whose short fuse gets progressively shorter with every new stunt they play upon her. She especially doesn't appreciate the fishtank with the dead stray floating in alcohol they've propped in her bedroom, angrily adding the boy's pet roaches to the mixture amidst their protests.After being locked in, starved, and forced to urinate in jars, they finally run away from home, but are eventually returned unharmed, by the local do-goodnik priest. Then, one morning, she wakes up to find herself bound with ropes and rigidly taped to her bed by her now-bellicose boys, both in papier mache masks and very inquisitive as to the whereabouts of their real mother. It doesn't take a behavioral psychologist to predict the tortures she's about to endure in her sons' hunt for answers, and that's when the real truth begins to make itself apparent, and fittingly, it's a lot worse than any of us might have guessed. See it.

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While Elias enjoys spending his days... with cockroaches,  papier mache, Lukas only digs the sport a boy can find in Klagenfurt...what a crazy paiiiiir.
Still working on the podcast and YouTube videos, by the way, should be up and running soon, my ever-patient woprophiles. On the other hand...Beautifully shot, intelligently written, and absorbingly acted, Goodnight, Mommy is a well-crafted, unnerving shocker from newcomers Franz and Fiala, and one you ought to love right away if you like your genre films meticulously executed with artistic flair. I can only hope these two have future collaborations in mind, as such could only result in more excellent movies for the viewers' enjoyment. On the scale, Mommy is a solid three Wop movie, and stands as highly recommended horror fare that you won't soon forget. Grab a copy.

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"We're ready for our screen tests, Herr Buchanan..."
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