Wednesday, September 30, 2015

kiddies in peril: goodnight mommy & cooties

Goodnight Mommy

Within the confines of a modern, sleek mansion of shut-blinds, disturbing dynamics emerge between a mysterious mother (inexplicably bandaged around her head) and her twin sons. Directed and scripted with elliptical flourish by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, this Austrian horror story builds up to a queasy, grim third act of torment and to what some may find to be a predictable, groan-inducing twist. But those who think deeper about the movie and its oddities, may find there's more than meets the eye (and some fun reddit theories). Many, including myself (I was most scared of sitting in a dark theater and half-watching the scenes of giant hissing cockroaches) may have been and will be duped by the brilliantly crafted trailer which suggests more of a standard, good entertaining fright flick than what the film actually is--a meditative, woozy David Lynch-ian nightmare.  ***


Recently a report was released that the majority of fast food chains (including Starbucks) received poor grades on their meat products. A new creature feature from Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott exploits these American food fears with school tykes turning rabid after munching on infected chicken nuggets. Elijah Wood (sort of the prince of low budget horror these days) is a failed writer-turned substitute teacher; his foil is played with gusto by Rainn Wilson, a brash, gussied-up, big-wheeler truck drivin' gym coach who emerges as the unlikely hero. The movie is noisy and yucky as heck, the daytime scenes are nauseatingly bright and it sledgehammers a lot of the comedy (including school safety agent Jorge Garcia tripping out in a van) but there are some throw-your-hands-up-and-shrug laughs to be had in the thick, gruesome nonsense. Perhaps most disappointing is that the movie is more like its generic poster than the brilliant, canny retro one pictured here.   **1/2

-Jeffery Berg

1 comment: