Goodnight Mommy ending explained — is that Elias and Lucas’s real mother?

By Marc Miller
Published: September 16, 2022
Goodnight Mommy ending explained — is that Elias and Lucas's real mother?

This article discusses the ending of the Prime Video film Goodnight Mommy (2022) and will contain spoilers.

READ: Everything we know about the Prime Video film Goodnight Mommy.

Goodnight Mommy is a 2022 psychological horror thriller by director Mark Sobel. This is a remake of the acclaimed Austrian horror film of the same name. The film centers around a pair of twins, Elias and Lucas (played by Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti), and their relationship with their mother (played by Naomi Watts). The film begins with their father (Peter Hermann) dropping them off at her countryside home. The boys run out, and Elias turns around and asks if he is coming in. He tells his one son that he doesn’t think his mother wants to see him right now. The boy thinks nothing of it and runs in, following his brother. When they enter the home, they find rotting food and their mother with a white mask on. She apologizes for her appearance.

Mother is acting odd, to say the least, concerning the boys. She doesn’t know the song she sings to the kids at bedtime. The picture Elias drew for her, she ripped up and threw out in the trash. She won’t let them go and play in a barn in the field behind their home. Mother has fits of rage, yelling at the children. Particularly poor Elias is challenging her authority, like why they cannot have their cell phone, play in that barn, or even call their father. When hiding in her room, he watches Mother dress provocatively in front of a mirror with the same mask on. And, to top it off, their mother has green eyes, but now they plainly see she has sparking blue.

Lucas tells Elias he thinks this is not their mother but an imposter. They found blood in the barn, and he tells his brother she may have her held up somewhere in the house. They lock the door of their room, and Mother breaks in and breaks down the door with a crowbar. When Elias then claims she is not their mother, she drags him to the bathroom, puts him in the tub, and abuses him with icy water from the shower for several minutes until he changes that opinion. The boys run away that night in a thunderstorm. They break into a neighbor’s house that was closed for the season, and a couple of police officers find them. To Elias and Lucas’s horror, they return them to their mother, who now is not wearing the mask.

It turns out that Mother is an actor. As she explains to everyone, she just had plastic surgery, which is the reason for the mask. (One of the officers asks for a selfie with her). After the police leave and Mother goes to bed, she wakes up the following day, and the boys have taken duct tape and tied all her limbs to the bed. They torture her by pouring ice water on her and asking where their real mother is.

While this happens, she finds out that Lucas is feeding this paranoia to him. She strangely won’t explain things like the song or the picture. However, the mask is healing because she had some “work” done. She also tells them the eye color is because she wears green contacts for her headshot, which is in her purse. When Lucas checks her purse, they are not there, so they should leave. Mother tries to convince Elias to untie her and not to listen to Lucas. When they leave, the compassionate Elias tries to undo her, but his brother won’t allow it. But when Elias checks Mother’s purse, he finds the green contacts. Lucas lied to him. But why?

Elias unties Mother, and they cannot find Lucas anywhere in the house. Mother explains for Elias to go with her and leads him to the barn. She shows him that spot in the barn, on the second level, where the blood stain was. He then sees the bullet hole. When playing, she explains that Elias didn’t know the gun was loaded and accidentally killed his twin brother, Lucas.

When he realizes it is too much for him to handle, he pushes Mother. She falls from the second story to the ground, softened by a thin layer of hay, while holding a lamp lit by a flame. As he climbs down, he sees his mother knocked out, and the hay around her catches fire. Elias runs away, turns around, and watches the barn light up like a giant bomb fire. As he watches, a hand touches his shoulder. He turns around. Mother and Lucas are standing there. They tell him how this is not his fault and embrace him.

Prime Video’s Goodnight, Mommy, ending explained

It has become clear that the adults only talked to Elias in any interaction the boys had. Father addressed only Elias, and we saw Lucas run ahead. The police woke only Elias in the neighbor’s home and at the door when they followed up. Mother only addressed Elias because he was being seen as the outgoing one and Lucas as the shy one. Father did not enter the home. As we can presume, it may have been his gun Elias played with and did not properly put away. Mother’s behavior can be explained by depression over losing her boy. Her abuse is her unconsciously blaming him for Lucas’s death. She allowed him to talk to Lucas to cope, but she was triggered when he signed the picture while adding Lucas’s name. The mask is simply her vain attempt to make herself look younger.

Finally, the interaction at the end is now another attempt for Elias to shield himself from the psychological horror of accidentally killing his twin brother and his mother. Lucas has been a hallucination for Elias throughout the entire film. This is a result of his dissociative identity disorder, due to not coming to terms with the loss of his “other” half, his twin. Imagining his mother as an imposter is Capgras Syndrome (CS).

What do you think of the Prime Video film Goodnight, Mommy (2022) and the ending? Comment below.

You can watch the series with a subscription to Prime Video.

Amazon Prime Video, Endings Explained, Movies, Movies - Ending Explained, Streaming Service