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Monday, September 19, 2022

‘Goodnight Mommy’ Director Matt Sobel Talks Remake Reluctance and Updated Approach [Interview]

Director Matt Sobel and screenwriter Kyle Warren take a different approach to the horror in their remake of 2014’s Goodnight Mommy, now available on Prime Video.

In this update, “twin brothers (Cameron Crovetti and Nicholas Crovetti) arrive at their mother’s (Naomi Watts) country home to discover her face covered in bandages—the result, she explains, of recent cosmetic surgery—they immediately sense that something doesn’t add up. She sets strange new house rules, smokes in her bathroom, and secretly rips up a drawing they gave her—things their loving mother would never do.

“As her behavior grows increasingly bizarre and erratic, a horrifying thought takes root in the boys’ minds: The sinking suspicion that the woman beneath the gauze, who’s making their food and sleeping in the next room, isn’t their mother at all.”

Bloody Disgusting chatted with Sobel about his update, where the filmmaker explained his initial reluctance to get involved, the changes, and more.

Sobel was so skeptical of a Goodnight Mommy remake that he initially turned the project down.

NICHOLAS CROVETTI, NAOMI WATTS and CAMERON CROVETTI star in GOODNIGHT MOMMY Photo: DAVID GIESBRECHT © 2022 Amazon Content Services LLC

The director explained, “I have to admit that my first reaction was that I am not the right person for this, and good luck to them. Because I’m not a fan of remakes that seems like the main purpose for their existence is to cater to people who don’t want to read the subtitles of the original. I was a fan of the first film and didn’t have a good answer for why a remake would justify its existence. So, I said no.               

“But shortly after that, I had a conversation with my good friend, Kyle Warren, who would end up writing this film. We spoke about perhaps a different way to conceptualize remaking or retelling a story. I’ve always been interested in how, in theater, you restage a play because it lasts only so long. Each restaging can add context to the text of the play. If they were to, for instance, restage Taming of the Shrew, with all the genders reversed in the cast, it would mean something dramatically different. It struck me that that’s not often done in film. We started to speak about, ‘Is there a way that we could use the elements of the story from the original and map them onto a new theme that we were interested in and perhaps even a new genre in the process?’ 

“The theme that we were interested in most was the human tendency to need to see ourselves as the hero or the victim of our own life story. And our inability to see ourselves as the villains and to the extent that we’ll go to achieve that, to lie to ourselves, lie to other people, to change our perception of the world and reality, in order to forever be the heroes or the victims and never the villains.

I would say that if there’s a core difference between our film and the original, it would be that the original Goodnight Mommy is about a boy who cannot bear to be alone. Our film is about a boy who cannot bear to be at fault. We felt like that was not only an interesting theme but, at the moment when we were developing it, a very topical theme. That’s not to say that it’s overtly political, but it definitely is; those ideas are definitely in there.”

CAMERON CROVETTI and NICHOLAS CROVETTI star in GOODNIGHT MOMMY Photo: COURTESY OF AMAZON PRIME VIDEO © 2022 Amazon Content Services LLC

That thought process helped convince original filmmakers, Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz – on board the remake as executive producers – to give their blessing.

“Kyle and I had dinner with them in LA at the beginning of our development process,” Sobel shares, “We had a lot to drink and stayed out all night. The message from them, as far as I can remember, they said, ‘We took this original film very seriously, and we are here to make sure that you are taking it as seriously as we did. We feel comfortable given that you two seem like serious people who are not just doing this for a paycheck, and you care about this. We want you to run with it because we don’t want these films to be the same. We don’t want this to be a carbon copy of the original, either. So, we’re just excited to see what you will do.'”

While the horror, themes, and character motivations shift the tone in this remake, not all intended updates made the cut thanks to COVID. Sobel revealed that the setting was envisioned differently before lockdown. He explains, “Isolation was always crucial, but actually, the shooting script was set on the beach in the Hamptons in winter. But because of delays with the pandemic and casting budgetary issues, our start date kept pushing later, and later we were originally supposed to shoot at the end of 2020 and the start of 2021. We ended up not starting until May 2021.

“As the season and location changed due to budget and tax credit necessities, our conception of the location had to change as well.”

The post ‘Goodnight Mommy’ Director Matt Sobel Talks Remake Reluctance and Updated Approach [Interview] appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/interviews/3732435/goodnight-mommy-director-matt-sobel-talks-remake-reluctance-and-updated-approach-interview/

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