The structure of Good Night Mommy is completely in line with all the standards of the horror film genre: in the course of the film, numerous signs that direct the spectators’ interpretation and their suppositions are offered, while the end of the film tries to come as a complete surprise that explains retrospectively all the seemingly unconnected signs. The authors of the article suggest two different ways of analysing the film: the semiological one, which tries to read the meaning of the signs, and the affective one, which stresses the pragmatic material effects of the signs on the spectator. For the horror genre, the latter seems more appropriate, as the signs are always in the function of producing the effect of horror and surprise. The central sign which unrevels all the others in the film is the face. From Deleuze’s concept of faciality, we can derive the source of the horror of the face, its doubles and masks. The horror is based exactly on the presumption of the humanity of the face. At the same time, the very faciality as an abstract machine that signifies and subjectifies stands for a cognitive – semiological – reading of horror films. To nullify the face thus means to follow the affective paradigm of analysis. The end of the film solves the secret and makes it possible to rationalistically read all the signs (of the face). This produces an effect of consistency. But this consistent rationalization and the finality of the solved problem partially annul the affective dimension – the effect of undefined horror.

The integral (Slovenian) version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!