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The House In Goodnight Mommy Means Much More Than You Likely Realize

Starring scream queen Naomi Watts, "Goodnight Mommy" is a remake of the 2014 Austrian film of the same name. The plot follows twins Lukas (Nicholas Crovetti) and Elias (Cameron Crovetti) as they contend with a mounting fear that their mother (Watts), who is covered in bandages following surgery, is not who she says she is. Anchored by steadily rising tension that's skillfully bolstered by emotionally raw performances from Watts and the Crovetti brothers, "Goodnight Mommy" features plenty of disturbing moments. Every aspect of the narrative works together to weave a terrifying tale that forces the viewer to toe the line between fantasy and reality.

As the seemingly innocent centerpiece of the plot, the bond between Lukas and Elias steadies the audience as the boys question the identity of the woman who calls herself their mother. Along with the talented cast, the film is elevated by an isolated, farmhouse setting that seems alarmingly picturesque. The home's layout was carefully crafted to reflect each of the characters. In order to set the distinctly eerie tone of the film, production designer Mary Colston and cinematographer Alexander Dynan worked together to create an atmosphere that would strike a careful balance between welcoming and menacing.

The set was designed to be increasingly ominous

In an interview with Variety, Mary Colston and Alexander Dynan elaborated on how the house was laid out to act as a map for the characters' emotions. At a glance, the house doesn't come across as foreboding. The living room's high ceilings, bright furniture, and rustic accents suggest a life of material comforts and tranquility. However, the deeper Lukas and Elias move into the house, the more it feels like a trap. While the boys' room feels youthful and familiar, their mother's space is dim and dirty. With the curtains drawn tightly shut, the walls seem to curl in on themselves, sagging towards fly-swarmed plates of old food and soiled laundry.

The cave-like room doesn't exactly align with the image of the loving mother the audience sees singing to the boys at the beginning of the movie. "The more you get into the room, the more the world makes you question, 'What is going on with this woman?'" Colston told the outlet. Dynan, who wanted the set to reinforce the film's central conflict, added: "You think, as an audience, is she just a stressed-out mom? Or is there something else?"

That's the question on everyone's mind as the plot moves forward, leading to a shocking ending that puts a twist on the original film's conclusion. By taking full advantage of all the tools at their disposal, the creative team behind the movie was able to help this remake feel fresh.