Monday, 27 October 2014

The Babadook - review

Every now and again a horror film creeps up on you out of nowhere and scares you senseless. The Babadook is one such film and features the scariest figure to wear a top hat since Papa Lazarou.

What really makes the film stand out from other horror films this year is the story and characters are as three dimensional as the pop up book which proves the catalyst for this terrifying tale.

Amelia is a single mum who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to the hospital to give birth to her baby boy Samuel. She is now struggling to cope with raising him as a seven year old who has behavioural and anger issues and still believes in monsters under the bed. This is exacerbated when Sam makes her read a bedtime story to him in the form of an unfamiliar book called Mister Babadook that becomes increasingly sinister with every turn of the page.

At first Sam acts out, convinced that The Babadook is out to get him, much to the frustration and eventually anger of Amelia who resorts to increasingly drastic measures to keep her child and herself on the right side of sanity.

It is all wrapped up inside one creepily effective scary movie but at the heart of the film is a woman unable to cope with her own grief and sense of loss and how it has affected her relationship with her son. Essie Davis is superb in the role which balances on the fine line between the similarly terrific performances of Belen Rueda in The Orphanage and Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

The look of Mister Babadook is the stuff of nightmares, with the drawings and monstrous apparitions feel Expressionist in origins, even if the origins of the characters and his motives remain refreshingly vague.

The writer/director Jennifer Kent clearly knows that people fear most what they can"t explain and has crafted an intelligent, emotionally powerful and, importantly, scary film that most pleasingly does not rely on sharp sudden jolts of music to manipulate the audience into jumping out of their seats.

Instead this is a horror film that will have you checking inside your closets and under your beds for days after you've left the cinema.

So take my advice. Just take one look. You'll be thrilled and wowed by The Babadook

4 stars


  1. yup this very nice movie and so interesting... movie...

  2. The Babadook will trap you in its pages with its compelling performances. but like every kid's book, your happy ending is waiting for you on the last page.

    View this site for Decking Ipe information