Amazon Studios’ ‘Goodnight Mommy’ is an English remake of the 2014 Austrian film of the same name. The plot follows twins Elias (Cameron Crovetti) and Lukas (Nicholas Crovetti) as they arrive at their mother’s home. It is evident that they haven’t seen each other in a while, and the twins are quite eager to reunite with their mother (Naomi Watts). However, when they finally see her, she doesn’t seem to share their enthusiasm. She imposes multiple rules the twins must follow while they are under her roof. The most unsettling thing about her is the mask she wears, leaving only her eyes and mouth visible. She claims that she had surgery and currently recuperating. As the film progresses, the mask comes to represent dread and pain for the twins. However, when the big revelations are finally made, it takes on an entirely new meaning. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Why Does the Mother Wear the Mask?
Although the film’s climactic scene reveals the truth in its entirety, hints about it are littered across the film’s narrative. The first scene of ‘Goodnight Mommy’ alludes to why Mother wears a mask. It’s a video clip from the happier days of the family when Father and Mother were still together. As Mother starts singing a lullaby for the twins, Father begins filming. Mother notices this and claims that she looks ancient.
In the following sequence, we see Father is taking the boys to their mother’s home. Once they arrive there, they find their mother in one of the darker corners of the house. Right from the beginning, the boys start to notice that something is off about their mother, and it is not limited to the mask.
Mother seems to only speak to Elias, completely ignoring Lucas, and imposes several rules on the former. He can’t argue or shout in the house, nor can he bring home another child. Mother tells him that the drapes must remain closed, and her office, bedroom, and the barn are off-limits. As Mother’s behavior starts to become erratic even cruel toward Elias, the twins start to think there is an imposter underneath the mask, not their mother.
One time, Elias tries to remove Mother’s mask, believing that she is asleep, but she wakes up and grabs him. When he reveals to her that he thinks she is an imposter, she sprays him with cold water, asserting that she is his mother. The twins try to run away but are brought back by the police. It is then that we see Mother without her mask. Although the twins still believe that she is lying and that the imposter has gotten plastic surgery to make herself look like their mother, they are ultimately proven incorrect.
It is heavily implied that Mother is a popular film star whose career has entered the twilight stage. She was dissatisfied with how she looked, and that led to her getting the surgery. It is possible that one of the reasons for it originated in her grief. The climactic scene reveals that Lukas has been dead all along. Elias killed him after firing a gun that he didn’t know was loaded. He subsequently couldn’t deal with the grief and the guilt and created a version of his brother in his mind. For other people, this manifested as Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s not too preposterous to think that the surgery, at least partially, was Mother’s way of dealing with her grief. It gave her an illusion of a new start.