Naomi Watts On What Convinced Her To Do Another Horror Remake - Exclusive

In the new psychological horror film "Goodnight Mommy," Naomi Watts plays a character (billed only as "Mother") who spends a large portion of the movie with surgical wrapping around her head, the result of extensive cosmetic surgery. The problem is, she is also a mom to twin boys, Elias and Lukas (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti), who have come to live with her after spending time with their father. But the fact that they can't see her face, and that she's behaving in strange and even frightening new ways, leads the boys to believe that she may not even be their mom.

"Goodnight Mommy" is actually a remake — or perhaps more specifically, an English-language version — of a 2014 film with the same name, written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. The new version, directed by Matt Sobel ("Brand New Cherry Flavor") and penned by Kyle Warren, retains the basic narrative and the movie's surprising twist while changing the nature of the mental and physical torment that the boys and their mom put each other through.

Although it would seem a plum role for any actress — and a challenging one, due to the fact that she can't use most of her face for a good amount of the film's running time — Watts was initially hesitant to take the project on. But she told The List that "a great conversation" with Sobel ended up changing her mind: "I was struck by his level of intelligence and instantly trusted him."

Why Naomi Watts was reluctant to star in Goodnight Mommy

Naomi Watts wasn't sure if she wanted to appear in "Goodnight Mommy" for one reason: She has appeared in several remakes already in her career. One, the 2002 English-language version of the iconic Japanese horror film "The Ring," was her first major commercial hit. She followed that in 2005 with Peter Jackson's take on "King Kong," and in 2007 with Austrian director Michael Haneke's own remake of his 1997 film "Funny Games," a terrifying psychological thriller co-starring Tim Roth.

Watts explained that her conversation with director Matt Sobel eventually put her at ease about "Goodnight Mommy." "He knew that I was nervous about doing a remake, having done a few by now," she said, "but he comforted me because he told me that he had new ideas that he wanted to incorporate."

Even with that assurance, however, Watts wasn't sure at first how a remake could improve on the original film. "I did go and watch the original, and I was like, 'Whoa, this is a really good film. There's not much that should be done here,'" she recalled. "But that makes it interesting when you've got new ideas and we can do a lot of what they did as well."

In the end, remake or not, Watts admitted that she was simply won over by the story and the complex nature of the character she was playing. "I love the fact that this woman is so deeply troubled at this point in her life," she said. "I felt like, 'How does she relate to her children at this point in her life where she's coming unraveled?' I found that very compelling."

"Goodnight Mommy" is now streaming on Prime Video.