The Babadook (2014)


Director:Jennifer Kent.
Starring:Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall . Australia. 1h 33m.

I had been getting frustrated with this new wave of shitty supposed-to-be-amazing horror that was just a bunch of regurgitated stories filled with fake jump scares and The Babadook was also released during this slushy period and I did pan it as being just another boring uninspired horror, but I was so wrong.. and I’m so sorry!

Dark and terrifying only scratch the surface of emotive and curious tour de force. Based on a short film called Monster (2005) The Babadook is a story of grief and nightmares. A lone mother is having to cope with the violent and tragic loss of her husband, while trying her best to raise her boisterous son and keep her shit together at work and in an uncaring social environment.

If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of .. The Babadook.

Initially starting as a strange drama a routine of checking cupboards and being dumped upon turns into something that I wasn’t expecting and it literally frightened the pants off me. With all the innocence of a children’s bedtime story the Babadook is slowly introduced as the son Samuel (Wiseman) preps himself to fight off the “boogeyman”, his mother (Davis) is continuously tired after spending most of the night up looking for monsters and trying to keep her sanity as the world just skirts around the duo and their recent loss. Eventually the night time disturbances become a constant threat and their world is turned upside down.

Babadook = A Bad Book

Personally I’m usually okay with horror films but every now and again one touches a nerve. and THIS movie touched on a few nerves. Initially it does start out slow, creepyly slow but this beginning is wonderful as the acting is superb and cinematography is brilliant, as you see how lost Amelia is in her day to day life and how the world is passing her and her son by they a really are isolated socially. This scarless introduction to the movie seems to have annoyed vast amount of the audience but it’s really golden and allows for tiny droplets of horror to drop in before the flood.

Limited edition signed book

Once The Babadook starts to make his appearance, after numerous   many warning from the pint sized terror Samuel the film takes on two distinct paths, much like Hide and Seek (20) the early signs of the monster could all be put down to stress, lack of sleep or just early signs of crazy! but what if the Babadook is real!?

For me the magic is not only with the open interpretation, it is a monster story and it’s a hugely deep view into grief and the physical and mental torture of losing a loved one. Amelia really starts to lose her shit, spending night after night staying awake to protect her son, then her need for rest makes her angry and snappy, and in these scenes her violent nature is perceived as a possession by the Babadook but is that how he’s let in? So be it the effects of grief/babadook the results of this “terror” attack are brutal, and delivered in an unnerving fashion, without lowering itself for the false jump scares the frights are all delivered in different ways, there really is no way to prepare yourself and for me a lot of them caught me off guard, from invisible attacks to very sinister visual ones too, car crashes, waking dreams and those little things we notice out of the corner of our eyes, Babadook has it all, there is no place to hide and for a large part of the movie, no respite.

A refreshing blend of suspense and thrills in a world where horror was getting a tad bit boring.. finally I have something to worry about in the small hours of the night,

Rating 8/10

R Hide and Seek (2005), Don’t be Afraid of the Dark (2010), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
L – One parent families on film, kiddy magnet horror, urban legends
A – What’s wrong with modern horror!?
Vs – Babadook Vs Slender Man?
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