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Friday, October 28, 2016

Filme Friday - Goodnight Mommy (2014)

This movie is creepy in the best way!  It's perfect for the month of October and just days before Halloween.  I love horror movies, so I've been excited about watching this film since I first heard about it.  I kept seeing articles calling the trailer disturbing and terrifying, which added to the intrigue.

It's an Austrian film with the title originally "Ich Seh Ich Seh", which translates to "I see, I see" in English.  This is a reference to the game "I Spy", where instead of "I spy with my little eye", German-speaking children say "Ich seh, ich seh, was du nicht siehst" (I see, I see, what you don't see).

Without giving too much away, a mother and her two sons, Lukas and Elias, live in a beautiful house in the country.  The film begins with the 9 year-old twins waiting for their mother to come home and when she does, her face is completely bandaged from surgery.  The boys notice that their mother is acting strangely, particularly that she is being strict and cruel, especially toward Lukas.  It doesn't take long before they wonder if this person whose face is hidden by bandaging is actually their mother.  They take matters into their own hands to determine the true identity of the woman in their home, which has terrifying consequences.


I'm a horror junkie and this movie lived up to my standards for a quality film.  It had a great mix of psychological horror and gore.  There were a few scenes that had me cringing despite my normally strong stomach.  Those Madagascar hissing cockroaches...*shiver*


I really don't want to say too much about the plot itself because I liked that the trailer didn't give much away at all.  The entire style is creepy and cute at the same time.  There's a bizarre innocence in the boys that only makes everything they do that much darker.  I also liked that actual twins were cast instead of using one actor for two characters.  Maybe I'm imagining it, but it really seemed to add something to the film.


After the final scene, I went back and rewatched previous scenes.  Even though I anticipated the ending, I still missed things and I wasn't sure I quite understood what I saw.  There's actually a bit of debate over certain scenes in the movie, which is always fun.  Definitely a thought-provoking, eerie horror film.  It certainly doesn't do much to dispel the creepy reputation twins get from movies like The Shining.

German and Austria have plenty of well-known classic horror movies, but this film gives hope for the more modern ones as well.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Filme Friday - "Der Nanny" (2015)

Let me start by saying that this is one of the funniest movies I have seen in any language.  I came across it by accident.  On my second day of my new job (yay new job!) I was sent to a conference in Arizona with my team. This meant I had a decent length airplane trip and since I was lucky enough to have movie choices, I took advantage of it.  Seeing foreign language movies available absolutely made my day.

The first thing that caught my eye about "Der Nanny" (aka "The Manny") were the names Matthias Schweighöfer and Milan Peschel in the cast list.  A year and a half ago, I wrote about the film Schlussmacher, which starred these same actors.  I remembered liking that movie enough, so I gave this one a try.  Plus, Schweighöfer is nice to look at.

Schweighöfer plays Clemens, a single father with two ill-behaved children.  It's clear early on that his job as a real estate developer rules his life and he places it as a priority above all else.  He's handsome and wealthy with a great career, but a couple of intersecting problems.  First, his kids do their best to chase away any nanny he hires.  Second, he is facing pushback from residents of buildings he is looking to demolish for an urban development project.  This is where Peschel, who plays Rolf, comes in.


Rolf is a resident of an apartment building Clemens plans to tear down.  He pays a visit to Clemens to  voice his protest, but Clemens mistakes him for the new nanny.  Thinking this is a great opportunity for sabotage, Rolf goes along with it and endures the torture inflicted on him by the children in hopes of saving his neighborhood.

Source: IMDb

It's a heartwarming comedy that really hits hard on the message of being there for family, whether you're related by blood or not.  All of the main characters have pretty in depth development and stories.  Even as I was consistently laughing, I was considering my normal workaholic lifestyle and how I can't do that and have a family.  It honestly made me more relieved to have found my current job, with a company that values work/life balance and a boss who values family.

Source: IMDb

I'm not sure how popular this movie was in Germany, but I'd never heard of it.  I'm not too surprised because it's rare for a German comedy to gain popularity in the United States in the same way that a drama or historical piece does.  It's a movie I found hilarious and would watch again.  These actors have great chemistry together and I'll keep a lookout for any other films they're in together.

Source: IMDb

I recommended this film to my mom to show for German Club's movie night since they shoot down my horror movie suggestions, so maybe a few more people will see it.