Film Review: “The Babadook” (2014)


If you can’t get rid of the cause of your fear, then you must learn to deal with it. But what if you don’t know what it looks like or when it’s going to appear to scare you or take over your mind? Samuel, a 5 year old boy, claims that he sees a monster called The Babadook.  A monster that terrifies him in the middle of night or even worse – during the day. In the beginning, Amelia, a single mother, does not believe her son, and thinks that he is just making up all these stories… until the moment when she lets the story into her mind…

The Babadook is a great example of how a simple story, and a bright idea, in the hands of a very gifted person, such as Jennifer Kent, can turn out to be a masterpiece. The Babadook begins with Sylvia, who sits in a car that suddenly starts moving from one corner to another, while the camera is focused on her facial expression. Soon after, we realize she was in a car accident on her way to the hospital to deliver her son, where her husband loses his life before he is able to welcome his newborn child.

After five years, Amelia is a struggling mother who no longer knows how to deal with the rich imagination of her son, who keeps saying that he sees a terrifying monster. As soon as he becomes aggressive and begins to put the lives of other children in danger, Amelia is advised to take him to a psychotherapist. When Amelia agrees to do so, she all of a sudden begins to hear and see inexplicable things, which makes her scared, not only for the life of her son, but hers as well…

The Babadook is all about a dark, and very well created, atmosphere, where you as the viewer have no idea what to expect. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, as you watch things get worse and worse, even without the Babadook itself appearing on the screen. And this is all because of – I repeat – because of, the fantastic performances delivered by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman, whose performances, I must say, left me stunned. The Babadook is the kind of film where you won`t get what you expect, which is a good thing. It`s subtle, creepy, and can be considered a new Australian classic horror film.

Kent`s film shows an inexplicable connection between a mother and a son, who are both trying to protect each other in ways they could never have imagined. But what is important in The Babadook, is its plot, and the way it is directed – everything about this film is pure perfection; a film that will certainly find its place in movie history. This is why The Babadook is a must-see film for those who enjoy a meaningful horror film, where in the end, the only word you will start hating is ‘Baba – dook-dook’.

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