University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

'I see, I see . . .': Goodnight mommy (2014) as Austrian Gothic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGothic Heroines on Screen
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentation, Interpretation, and Feminist Inquiry
EditorsTamar Jeffers McDonald, Frances Kamm
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315200545
ISBN (Print)9781138710993
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019


This chapter examines the Austrian film Goodnight Mommy in the context of the Gothic genre, and will, in doing so, interrogate this ‘peculiarly visual’ element as a necessary condition for a Gothic film, since the film does not, at first sight, appear to carry these specific visual markers frequently associated with the genre. It argues that this film – originally titled Ich Seh, Ich Seh, or I See, I See – is Gothic less because of any visual markers, and more because of what remains visually ambiguous, and indeed invisible, throughout the film. Goodnight Mommy focuses on a mother and her 10-year-old twin sons Elias and Lukas, who inhabit a large, modern house in the Austrian countryside. The relationship between the senses and Mommy’s status as a trapped Gothic heroine – both figuratively and literally – also connects with one of the central features of the genre: the female protagonist’s search for the solution of a central mystery.


© 2019 Taylor and Francis. This is an accepted manuscript of a chapter published by Taylor & Francis in Gothic Heroines on Screen: Representation, Interpretation, and Feminist Inquiry on 29th April 2019, available online:

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