Writer: Jennifer Kent (Screenplay)
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell
Plot: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: A True Psychological Horror
Story: The Babadook starts by Amelia (Davis) involved in a dream sequences before her son Samuel (Wiseman) yelling for her because he saw a monster. Samuel a young boy who thinks a monster is after him, he has a habit of building defensive weapons to use against the monster that haunts him, getting him in trouble at school. We also learn that Samuel’s father died before he was born.
It is clear that Samuel does have problems which only look like they are about to surface demanding the centre of attention from his laid back mother. Every night Amelia and Samuel have to check every hiding spot in Samuel’s room in case of monster as well as story time, but this one night Samuel picks a new book called Mr Babadook which tells the story of a monster watching over a little boy in his sleep. The story only manages to increase the fears of Samuel and even start to make Amelia become slightly paranoid.
The Babadook story becomes an obsession of Samuel’s as he think it will come for his mother and it leads to Samuel using his bad behaviour on the Babadook. The obsession ends up with Samuel fully believing he has seen the Babadook and that it is after his mother leading to have medical tests as they try to figure out what could be behind Samuel’s problems.
When strange things start happening around the house Amelia believes that she could actually be getting haunted by the Babadook and when social services start looking into why Samuel was taken out of the school the pressure and stress starts piling up on her. Things continue to get worse when the Babadook book returns with graphic stories about what she will do it becomes clear that something is actually in the house with them. It soon becomes apparent that Amelia is actually the one who is starting to lose her mind by refusing to sleep in fear of the Babadook taking her or Samuel, but just how much is in her mind and how much is actually real?
The Babadook manages to balance a mix of genres to tell a story of loss and fear showing that if you mix them you will end up in a bad place. We see how never truly being able to grieve will leave a person lost their life putting their own and loved ones safety at risk. The side of the story that really shines through is the reflection between how the monster is being let in and Amelia is starting to lose her mind. Watching these to play out hand in hand leaves us wondering just what is actually real and what is all just her losing her mind. This film does get talked about because people do find the story slow and fail to appreciate how the idea of horror being about not seeing the monster. This really will make you think as the story unfolds leaving you wondering just what will happen next. (8/10)
Essie Davis: Amelia single mother who also works as a nurse, she is very isolated from people outside of work and distant with her sister. She becomes obsessed with the idea that the Babadook has got in as she also deals with the anniversary of her husband’s death and putting the two together makes for terrifying consequences. Essie gives a great performance in the leading role showing all the different emotional twists and turns. (8/10)
Noah Wiseman: Samuel is the little boy who is a handful for his mother who becomes fearfully for his mother’s safety after reading about the Babadook, he doesn’t know how to handle what is going but will do what he can to fight for his mother’s safety. Noah gives a great performance. (8/10)
Support Cast: The Babadook only really has a supporting cast that is involved with small scenes either criticizing Amelia or trying to help her.
Director Review: Jennifer Kent – Jennifer goes a great job and gives us a horror film that really makes you think and terrifies at the same time. (8/10)
Drama: The Babadook enters the story into a drama genre by showing how the mother and son deal with personal lost and showing how it catches up with them. (8/10)
Horror: The Babadook gives us a psychological horror that really makes you think about what is going on off camera. (9/10)
Thriller: The Babadook really makes you wonder what will happen next to the characters. (8/10)
Settings: The Babadook has the most part inside the house but it does have one part outside showing that the Babadook isn’t just around their home. (8/10)
Suggestion: The Babadook is going to be one that all horror fans really should be watching. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: Actually making us think.
Worst Part: The dog.
Scariest Scene: The Babadook visiting Amelia in her sleep.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: I don’t think it needs one.
Post Credits Scene: No
Awards: Has won and been Nominated for plenty of awards through the horror genre.
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $4.8 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Tagline: If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of … The Babadook
Overall: We have so many horror films out each year now it is hard to make their own mark on the genre, this manages to do that and is all the praise it can really be given.