At the Athena: Goodnight Mommy review

Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min. | Rated R | $6.50 at Athena Cinema

As the summer draws to a close, two twin boys finally get to live with their mother again.  She’s been away for awhile, recovering from extensive surgery to her face.  She arrives bandaged up — she acts differently. She doesn’t seem like the old mom.  Is it someone else? Is it even human? Or are the boys’ imaginations running wild.

Goodnight Mommy is a foreign horror film out of Austria that received critical acclaim when it released last year. It has been in the states since Sept. 11 and is currently being shown at the Athena Cinema.

It’s hard to argue with the critics on this one.

This film is mysterious — tasking the viewer to put the creepy puzzle pieces together. It’s suspenseful and dread-inducing. As the boys get more suspicious of their mother(?), they do more sneaking around. The heightened suspense comes from the fact that you don’t know for sure what that thing that came home is. She could reveal her true form at anytime and things could get ugly in a split second.

It is a horror film by definition, one that pairs disgusting images with a feeling of unease. It is also, at times, hard to watch but not in a way you’d expect. It’s understated. It’s believable. It feels real.

Thirty minutes before the film ends, you may be confused. You’ll be forced to watch some disturbing things and you’ll want it to be over as badly as you want to know what happens next. Then, the twist ending arrives and it all makes sense. The movie’s ending pays off in a big way and instantly made me want to see it through again.

The film felt like an extended, modern episode of the ’60s television series “The Twilight Zone” — lauded for its pacing, minimalism and its proficiency at inducing dread. One of Rod Serling’s iconic monologues would fit perfectly following the twist ending of Goodnight Mommy. I suppose it would have to be in German though.

goodnight mommy
Like this…only way darker – image provided by

Some people may not like to read subtitles but that’s not something that has ever bothered me. Its European setting — with its beauty and inherent creepiness — elevates the movie.  It wouldn’t be the same without it and having subtitles is so much better than any alternative.

Goodnight Mommy is a unique horror film that has superb pacing, performances and cinematography. The worst parts of  horror films are jump scares — they’re cheap and unsatisfying.  This film has largely avoided this practice. There are loud noises at times but the film is scary and suspenseful because of its disturbing images and a turn you won’t see coming.

See it at the Athena (plays daily at 9:50 p.m. with 7:30 p.m. shows on Tuesday & Thursday) while its still there or find a way to watch it on a streaming service —  if it ever gets there. Maybe play it safe and see it at the Athena.


12 Halloween food costumes that will make you salivate

One thing we learned this HallOUween is that an Athens block party is a lot like a grocery store aisle: There were Halloween food costumes galore Uptown. So Court Street Stories invites you to get your appetite — and your shopping cart — as we stroll down the aisles of HallOUween deliciousness.

  1. Main Courses

    These savory ensembles didn’t leave the house on an empty stomach. Pulling on puns or relying on the comfort and warmth of a nice hot dog suit, those who saw these costumes were reminded of some Uptown drunk favorite eats.


Halloween food costumes: Hot Dog Cascade
Cascading hot dogs with a side of…


Halloween food costumes: Taco Bell
Might as well Taco Bell.


Halloween food costumes: Pizza Group
I’d give anything to be part of this pizza circle.


2. Produce

These costumes came straight from the produce aisle, featuring a bright pop of color among the dozens of Wednesday Addamses out and about on Saturday evening. The popular choices were strawberry and pineapples — perhaps drawing a bit of inspiration from our porous friend under the sea.

Halloween food costumes: Strawberry-Banana
Further proof that strawberry-banana is the best fruit combo.


Halloween food costumes: Fruit Group
Fruit Squad, assemble!


3. Drinks

One popular type of garb this Halloween was drink costumes. From Starbucks lattes to punny Bloody Mary’s, many people slipped on solid-colored dresses, attached straws to their bodies and went on their merry ways.

Halloween food costumes: Starbucks lattes
I’d pay some star bucks for those double-trouble latte costumes.


Halloween food costumes: Coke and Jack
Coke and rum? More like Coke and whiskey for these two.


Halloween food costumes: Franzia Chardonnay
Do you know any costumes of wine cooler than Franzia?


Halloween food costumes: Bloody Mary
Put a straw in me because I’m going to Court Street.


4. Desserts

These costumes could satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. A little more elaborate than the previous costumes, these outfits were homemade and sweet, just like everyone’s favorites desserts.


Halloween food costumes: gum ball
“Anyone want a gum ball?”


Halloween food costumes: Ice Cream
“I Scream!” costumes.


5. Fast Food

Probably the best of all, a well-known Chicago hot dog shop disguised itself as a “McDowell’s” restaurant from “Coming to America,” the popular ’80s movie starring Eddie Murphy. For two days, The Wiener’s Circle dressed to impress, changing everything from the attire of its employees to even its own name and logo.

The Wiener's Circle "McDowell's" Halloween food costumes
Top this, Larry’s Dawg House!

Sports costumes get KO’d at HallOUween

We thought it would be easy to find sports-themed costumes at the Athens Halloween Block Party.

Not so much.

We found several. But we also found a lot of folks who thought tossing on their tattered team jersey was all it took to create a Halloween costume.

It seemed as if more people dressed as things they want to eat than people they want to be.

We saw more hot dogs, pizzas, fruits, and lattes than Manziels, Elliots, and Bradys. Hollywood themes also were prominent, like Janice Ian from Mean Girls or Ellen DeGeneres. Even at the bars, there were more TV-themed and political-themed costumes than we’ve seen since the 2012 block party.

When a woman walked into a party in a Michael Jordan Bulls jersey, our Chicago-native reporter was elated.

“Oh, that a sick jersey!” our reporter said.

“I know. I love the Cleveland Bulls.”

“Do you know whose jersey you’re wearing?” our correspondent asked.

“Yeah. LeBron,” she said.

That pretty much sums up the sports themes we encoutered.

“The only other sports-themed costume I saw was a FEMALE dressed as Ray Rice,” our reporter said. “I about lost it. If you’re a female and decide to dress up as an NFL player who abused his fiancee, you’re the reason female sports fans are not taken seriously. Do some research before you look like an idiot.”

All that being said, we did stumble across a few local attempts at team spirit.

Soccer may not be the most popular sport in America, but you can still find fans in Athens. Two seniors, Rob Berry and Andreas Olivari showed off their devotion to the sport this Halloween with makeshift soccer uniforms.

Rob Berry

“I’ve been a soccer player for the last three years. I love the game,” Olivari said.

Andreas Olivari

While they were showing off their footwork, one girl decided to put an emphasis on her hands instead, dressing as a boxer for the evening.

“Not too many girls go with boxing costumes so I’m glad I picked it,” said Alexis Smith, a visitor from Uhrichsville, Ohio.

She was very vocal about including her friends in the picture. Those same friends jokingly referred to her as Alexis “Stonehands” Smith to go along with her costume.

Alexis Smith (right)

Russell Wilson came all the way from Seattle for some Athens fun. It didn’t seem to affect his performance on Sunday in the 13-12 Win over the Cowboys.

I would have given the ball to Marshawn ??#HallOUween #RussellWilson

A photo posted by Calvin Holloway (@calhollow) on

   Another of our reporters went to Walmart before the festivities began to get a last-minute fanny pack. While walking the aisles, she saw these two best friends, Audrey Coyne and Courtney Greer. Coyne dressed as DeflateGate while Greer donned a Serena Williams costume. It was good to see dedication (from the hats down to the shoes) after seeing so many mediocre costumes.  image2 This random guy was dressed as a referee, though not a very clever one we must add. (Jeans, really?) When asked about why he decided to dress up as a referee, his response every time was, “Athens happens.” He then decided to bash Ohio University by saying that he went to “THE best damn school in the land OSU.” Naturally, that was the end of the conversation.  image1   Johnny Manziel made an appearance in Athens. He tried to get that money but failed as he usually does getting the starting position.

Mario & Luigi dress as basketball players. An interesting vibe for a Celtics Luigi to be paired with a Bulls Mario

Mario and Luigi… Because we’re brothers

A photo posted by James Richard Gollon (@jamesgollon) on

Ezekiel Elliot made a pit stop after his game against Minnesota on Saturday. He even got a picture with his favorite animal.

If you didn’t know @ezekielelliott was at HallOUween…he Got a picture with his favorite animal #InCropTopsWeTrust A photo posted by Zarine Giardullo (@zarinegiardullo) on *** This story was reported and curated by Karli Bell, Kim Oswald, Tony Wolfe and Austin Erickson.

LeBron’s not the only star getting his Halloween game on

By now we’ve all seen LeBron James posing as Prince. But he’s not the only sports star who got his game on for Halloween. Here are a few other sports stars who went above and beyond with their costumes …

Deron Williams gave a nod to another “athlete” by dressing up as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, one of the late great professional wrestlers who won championships on the WWF and the WCW.

“You rang?” There are several photos of Dirk Nowitzki from this Halloween in his Lurch get-up, and all feature the same bulgy-eyed look you see here. It’s terrifying. Good for the 7-foot-tall NBA veteran for not slacking on his Halloween effort, and also for finding something that suits his stature so well.

  Tony Stewart showed up Tony Gibson, a NASCAR crew chief, when he showed up to a party in drag. It’s safe to say Stewart doesn’t cut corners in driving or in dressing up.

And finally, here is Rob Gronkowski on Colbert …


This story was reported and curated by Karli Bell, Kim Oswald, Tony Wolfe and Austin Erickson.

Best history costumes at HallOUween 2015

History Staff | Court Street Stories

This Halloween, many attendees of Ohio University’s annual block party decided to add a historical spin to their costumes. Here are a few we liked including The Statue of Liberty, Rosie the Riveter and Cleopatra.



MURICA! #HALLOUWEEN A photo posted by That’s So Athens (@thatssoathens_) on

Walk like an Egyptian. No seriously, do it. #HALLOUWEEN A photo posted by That’s So Athens (@thatssoathens_) on


Also, here’s a neat video detailing 100 years of Halloween costume history. Learn about how costumes changed over the years.


We hope you enjoyed the holiday and had a very spooky time!

5 throwback traditions at Ohio University

OU students pride themselves in having raucous, memorable traditions, and it is probably because they learned from the best. Alumni came out in droves to share their favorite campus traditions.

  1. The Bagel Buggy – Now days there is Big Mamma’s, but in the 1970s and 1980s the Bagel Buggy was the go to food cart for students who were hungry and probably slightly intoxicated. The strawberry jelly and cream cheese bagel was a fan favorite.
  2. Green Fests – Back before there was Mill, High, and Palmer fest, there were the Green Fests. Each green had it’s own giant fest, leading up to the ultimate Springfest, which was held on the soccer fields by South Green . Prior to 1987 the drinking age in Ohio was 18, so students would fund raise all year and hold the fests on campus. Alum Lena Niro, who graduated in 1986, said that one year East Green’s fest went through 304 kegs of beer!
  3. The Graffiti Wall – This is one tradition that has not changed much. According to several alumni leaving your mark on the graffiti wall at the top of Richland Avenue has been the big thing to do for over 40 years.

    An aerial view of Court Street from the 1970s.s.
  4. Broomball – This one is a bit of a surprise but apparently in the early to mid 1980s intramural broomball took campus by storm. Students would play at midnight in Byrd Arena.
  5. Court Street Shuffle – Finally, a large majority of the alumni said their favorite tradition was the Court Street shuffle. The drinking age has gone up, and some of the bars have come and gone, but Ohio University students will always love a drunken bar crawl down the best street in the world.

Check out the alumni Facebook group to see other favorite traditions!