In a secluded home in the Austrian countryside nine-year-old twin boys wait for their mother to come home. When she does finally arrive her face is covered with bandages from plastic surgery. The twins notice that their mother’s behavior has been different since she came home. Soon they begin to wonder if this woman is even really their mother.
One of my favorite aspects of this film was the acting. Lukas and Elias (also their names in the film) Schwarz were excellent. When you consider the fact that this film was the twins first acting role, their performance is even more impressive. I know I’ve said this before in past reviews, but it is always risky with child actors in horror movies. They can often seem more annoying than anything else. The Schwarz twins avoided that by appearing to be relatively innocent and self sufficient in their environment. Susanne Wuest as their mother did an excellent job as well. Having most of your face covered can often make it harder to show different emotions when acting, but she shined through the bandages.
This film had many visual elements that made it stand out. I loved that they had this beautiful, modern house pushed up against a forest with nearby corn fields. It almost didn’t make sense, but when the mother came home and closed all the blinds it was like there were two separate worlds: the nature outside and the house of mystery on the inside. The cinematography throughout the film only added to these beautiful sets. There was also quite a bit of interesting play with light and dark. The light from outside versus the dark inside the house was the main way this can be seen. There is even light and dark used with the twins. Pay attention to what the twins are wearing. Elias is always wearing a lighter colored shirt than Lukas is.
Now that I have gone over what I liked about the film, I unfortunately must turn to what I didn’t like. This may be something that happened to a smaller percentage of viewers (which I’m guessing since this film got an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I figured out the big twist less than 10 minutes into the film. It was so obvious to me from the moment their mother came home. Because of this, the rest of the film moved rather slowly for me. I kept waiting for the film to reveal what I already knew. It was really disappointing because the twist is actually a fairly interesting one, it just wasn’t executed very well. The filmmakers made it stand out from the very beginning so it took the surprise and suspense away. The last thirty minutes of the film did a bit a redeeming. It was very intense and there were multiple scenes that made me cringe.
It’s unfortunate that I don’t have more things to say about this film. The acting was great, it had a lot of visual interest, but they gave away the twist too early. Knowing the twist at the beginning of an hour and a half long film makes it feel incredibly dull. While the ending made up for this a bit, it wasn’t enough for me to truly fall in love with the film. I may have been able to write more about the film if I divulge the way it ends, but everyone knows I hate spoilers. The acting and visual effects make this film at least somewhat worth watching, but I would probably only really recommend it to people who tend to be oblivious to the clues leading up to the big twist.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10