A green carpet lies on the floor of an independent two-screen movie theater named The Metrograph. The evening of September 14, 2022, saw the New York City premiere of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video film Goodnight Mommy starring Naomi Watts. This is a remake of a 2014 Austrian film about twin brothers staying with a mother whose face is covered in bandages after a recent operation. However, her erratic behavior leads them to suspect that she is not really their mother. The cast and crew showed up on the carpet to promote the psychological horror thriller.

I was able to attend the premiere of Goodnight Mommy to celebrate the release of the new film with the people who made it. Writer Kyle Warren commented on the differences between this film and the Austrian source material, stating, “First of all, this is in English. Second of all, more talking. In the Austrian movie, they don’t talk all that much. And because of the way the movie is set up, that’s really useful sometimes that you’re able to hide some things from the audience that more talking gets in the way of. But as an American audience and an audience that is expecting more character development and more getting inside the character’s heads, there’s a lot more dialogue in this film. And part of the fun of the movie was figuring out how to convey the same level of mystery without overstepping, which will make sense if you stick till the end of the movie.”

When asked about the inspirations behind a film like Goodnight Mommy, director Matt Scobel stated, “I would say a film that really inspired our take on this was Rosemary’s Baby. I’m very much interested in stories in which what’s happening inside the minds of the people who [are] closest to us is the scariest thing, even scarier than any monsters and slashers and whatnot. And so, as we were in this interpretation of Goodnight Mommy leaning away from the more hardcore horror elements of the original, this is what we were getting into.”

The stars of the film are Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti as Elias and Lucas, the two twin brothers who have to find out what’s going on with their mother. When asked about the most interesting part of working on this film, Crovetti said, “Our director, Matt Scobel, he—we were actually kept in the dark about what happens at the end of the movie. We got the script only up to a certain point, and we weren’t allowed to read anymore because he wanted our performances to be really raw and natural. So when we were acting throughout the movie, we didn’t know what was gonna happen yet…and we were instructed not to watch the original movie too. So a lot of things like that really helped our performances feel more natural and real.” The Crovetti twins also talked about how horror films like Poltergeist and Hereditary inspire this style of child performances and finding the horror in family trauma.

When asked about what he will do next in his career, Scobel said, “It might sound funny, but I really don’t think about projects in terms of what genre they’re going to be in. I try to think about them in terms of what journey the primary protagonist is going on. I was attracted to the story because I find characters who have to lie to themselves in order to live with themselves very interesting. So I will continue to look for projects where that’s true, whether they’re horror or not.”

Goodnight Mommy is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.



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