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The chilling Goodnight Mommy on the way in April


It scared audiences across the international film festival circuit. Now Goodnight Mommy, the Austrian thriller of familial estrangement and chilling deportment, is set for DVD release. Accent Film will make it available through Gryphon Entertainment on April 20.

The acclaimed film from directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz is icy cold in tone and for good reason.

On a lakehouse in the woods twin siblings Elias and Luke (Elias and Lucas Schwarz) roam the natural environment, exploring caves, the forest and capture beetles for their collection. They seem sombre, alone. When their long gone mother (Susanne Wuest) returns home bandaged up after what appears to have been reconstructive surgery she shows little warmth for the boys who decide she is not who she claims to be -- and for the rest of the movie set out to prove it.

Isolation adds to the impending sense of doom. Tension is ratcheted up with the growing mistrust as the mother starts shutting off the family from the outside world. Behaviour, after all, relies foremost on interpretation. Interpretation relies on subjectivity which, often, is skewed.

The delicate balance sustained by the filmmakers goes a long way to confirming Goodnight Mommy as one of the most acclaimed horror films of recent times. It currently boasts a Metacritic score of 81. "A wicked little chiller full of foreboding and malevolent twists," notes the Hollywood Reporter.

Travis Hopson writing in the Examiner observers that the "film goes places we never expect it to go, and goes where other horrors wouldn't dare."

Jeannette Catsoulis concludes her rave in the New York Times with "Brahms's 'Cradle Song' might play at the beginning, but that doesn't mean anyone here has the slightest chance of sleeping."