Goodnight Mommy Ending, Explained: Is Mother Dead?

Image Credit: David Giesbrecht/Amazon Studios

Directed by Matt Sobel, ‘Goodnight Mommy’ is an American remake of the 2014 Austrian psychological horror film of the same name. The plot revolves around twins Elias (Cameron Crovetti) and Lukas (Nicholas Crovetti), who come to live with their mother (Naomi Watts) after a significant time apart. They discover that their mother wears a mask. She claims that she has recently undergone surgery. However, the twins start to notice that she does certain things that their mother would have never done. Moreover, she seems to have different physical traits from their mother. Elias and Lukas come to believe that their mother has been replaced by an imposter and resolve to find the truth. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Goodnight Mommy.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.

Goodnight Mommy Plot Synopsis

The movie begins with a video clip filmed in the happier days of the family. Mother and Father were still together at the time. Mother sang Elias and Lukas’s favorite lullaby while Father was behind the camera. In the present time, Father takes the twins to Mother’s home in the countryside. It has clearly been a while since the twins last saw her. Upon arrival, Elias asks his father to come in, but the latter declines and leaves. The twins find their mother in one of the darker areas of the house. Much to their surprise, they discover that she now has a mask covering her face. Only her eyes and mouth are visible. She tells them that she has undergone surgery. When Elias asks whether she is sick, Mother assures him that she isn’t. It is heavily implied that the surgery is cosmetic in nature. When Elias asks why their father hasn’t told them anything about this, Mother responds by saying that she wants this to be their secret, insinuating that Father doesn’t know anything about the surgery

Following their arrival, Mother imposes several rules on the twins, which catch them by surprise. As far as the twins can remember, their mother wasn’t like that. She tells Elias not to argue or shout in the house, at least not while she is healing. She also forbids him from bringing other children to the house and tells him to keep the drapes close as her skin is still very sensitive. Moreover, she declares her office, bedroom, and the barn off-limits.

As children often do, Elias and Lukas do the opposite of what they were told. They enter the barn, and Elias finds a patch of dried blood, which he starts to think belongs to his real mother. Elias is spotted while coming out, and Mother subsequently forbids him from leaving the house. That night, Elias dreams of the barn and wets the bed. He wakes up and ventures out of the room, overhearing Mother’s voice. She is speaking to someone on the phone, claiming she has grown tired of pretending.

Elias and Lukas become convinced that she means that she is tired of pretending to be their mother. The twins begin to spy on Mother with their toy walkie-talkie. Elias finds the drawing of himself with Lukas and Mother that he earlier gave to Mother in the bin. They conclude that not only their mother’s behavior has changed, but certain physical aspects of her are different as well. For instance, her eyes used to be green, but now they are blue. They try to call their father but are unable to reach him. Mother finds out about this and destroys the phone. One time, Elias tries to remove her mask, believing that she has fallen asleep in the tub. However, she wakes up, and when Elias starts claiming that she is not their mother, the woman sprays him with cold water, telling him to stop lying. After this happens, Lukas deduces that they are not safe in the house, and the twins run away together in the middle of the night while a storm rages around them.

Goodnight Mommy Ending: What Happened to Lukas? Is Lukas Dead?

Like the original film, the remake keeps the central mystery close to its proverbial chest and doesn’t reveal anything until the climactic scene of the film. But if we trace back after watching the climax, we can spot hints littered across the movie that demonstrate what has been the truth all along. Lukas died the last time the twins were at this house. The incident happened in the barn. Elias didn’t know the gun was loaded when he fired it at his twin. The dried blood he finds in the barn doesn’t belong to his mother but Lukas. There is even a hole in the timber where the bullet went in.

Image Credit: David Giesbrecht/Amazon Studios

Some of the dreams that Elias has over the course of the film take him back to that night, but he never sees the entirety of what happened. In dreams, just as in waking moments, Elias has repressed those memories. To fill the void, his mind has created a version of Lukas. For him, this has manifested physically; he sees that Lukas is beside him., But for others, especially Mother, Lukas manifests in Elias’ body. They seem to think that Elias has Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Because Lukas is dead, not once do we see Mother speaking to him in the film. In fact, whenever Elias speaks about Lukas, it only seems to make her angry. As most of what we see in the film is from Elias’ perspective, we are initially led to believe this is another instance of the imposter being cruel to the children. It is only after the big revelation that we realize that Mother’s actions stemmed from her grief.

Is Mother Dead?

This question can be asked twice while watching ‘Goodnight Mommy.’ As we watch the events unfold from Elias’ perspective, the evidence presented to the audience is enough to make us believe that the apparent imposter has done something to the real mother of the boys, and it’s not too far-fetched to consider the possibility that she might be dead. The second time that this question can be asked is after watching the climax.

After Elias removes the restraints and gag that he put on Mother on Lukas’ instructions, she drags him to the barn, intending to make her son finally face the reality. She tried to pretend that she, too, could see Lukas earlier in the movie — just like her ex-husband probably did as well — but it proved too much for her.

Her own psychological issues regarding her physical appearance have led her to get cosmetic surgery. We get a hint of that in the video clip when she complains about her looks. She likely didn’t think that it would trigger Elias in such a way that he would start to think that it isn’t her underneath her mask. And to be fair, her behavior toward Elias, which is quite cruel at times, doesn’t help the matter. She ultimately tries to force Elias to confront the reality. Unfortunately, he is not yet prepared for that. He lashes out, accidentally causing her to break the timber railings and fall several feet below.

Mother is most likely unconscious at this point. The fall was short, and there was hay on the barn floor. But fire starts to spread from the lamp she brought with her. And soon enough, the entire barn catches fire. Although Elias escapes, it is quite clear that Mother is dead.

Why Does Elias See Mother and Lukas?

As Elias walks out of the burning barn, he finds his mother and brother there. Mother looks how she used to before the accident, before the surgery, while Lukas holds his plush toy. Faced with yet another tragic result of his actions, Elias retreats into the comfort of his mind once more, creating a new personality modeled after what he considers the ideal version of his mother. In this perversion of reality, Elias doesn’t have to feel any pain, nor does he have to acknowledge his actions.

These final moments of the film also represent how things could have been if Lukas hadn’t died. Mother would still be alive, and the family would be together. We are left wondering about what would happen to Elias after this. Will he go back to his father? He (Father) is bound to realize that his son now believes his mother is with him alongside his brother and might even conclude that Elias had something to do with Mother’s death. The real question is what he will do with that knowledge. Elias needs immediate treatment. He has needed it since Lukas’ death.

Read More: Where Was Goodnight Mommy Filmed?