The nasty Austrian horror flick Goodnight Mommy is getting an American remake, and the remake has found its mommy: Naomi Watts. Amazon Studios is producing the remake, with Matt Sobel (Take Me to the River) directing a script from Kyle Warren. Released in 2014, the original film was helmed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, who went on to make the even nastier (and better) horror movie The Lodge. In Goodnight Mommy, twin siblings begin to suspect their mother is not who she says she is.
Variety is reporting the news that the Goodnight Mommy remake will star Naomi Watts. The original film was released in 2014, and generated a lot of buzz, particularly in the horror community. The story “follows twin brothers who, when sent to stay with their mother, are surprised to find her swathed in bandages from a recent procedure. As her behavior grows increasingly erratic and unusual, the twins become convinced she is an imposter. Their suspicion sets off a roller-coaster of emotional mind games and misunderstandings between mother and her children, that eventually explodes with irreparable and heartbreaking consequences.”
Here’s the part of this story where I tell you I was one of the people who didn’t really care for Goodnight Mommy. I thought the film had a neat, creepy visual style, but it was also painfully predictable – there’s a twist coming that I spotted literally a minute into the movie, and not because I’m some highly attentive expert on these sorts of things, but because it was so damn obvious. That said, I did enjoy The Lodge, the follow-up from Goodnight Mommy filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. Although “enjoy” probably isn’t the right word because that movie is immensely disturbing and unnerving.
As for the Goodnight Mommy remake, it will be directed by Matt Sobel and written by Kyle Warren for Amazon Studios. “My favorite films are those that invite the audience to step inside their protagonist’s journey. In our re-imagining of Goodnight Mommy, fear of abandonment — and the dreadful realization that those close to us may not be who they seem — create an immersive nightmare, with visceral sensations front and center. I can’t wait to create this heart-stopping story with Amazon and the peerless Naomi Watts,” said director Sobel.
I’m not anti-remake, but I’m not entirely sure anyone needs a Goodnight Mommy remake. Watts is a great actress and I have no doubt she’ll bring something memorable to the film. That said, anyone familiar with the original Goodnight Mommy is going to know a twist is on the way in the remake – unless Warren’s script significantly changes things around.
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