Review of The Babadook - yeeeesh
MyMovieFinderBlogger on 08/30/2015 updated on 08/31/2015
I don't generally consider myself easily scared but I started this film at about 6.30pm the other night and 30 minutes in, was remarked upon with 'oh no, she's got 'horror' face...
I don't generally consider myself easily scared but I started this film at about 6.30pm the other night and 30 minutes in, was remarked upon with 'oh no, she's got 'horror' face. Must be scary.' YES IT IS. This film is creepy in a way that really reminds me of The Shining. It tells the story of single mother Amelia, who is trying to raise her son Samuel, after her husband is killed. Samuel, played by Noah Wiseman (who only elicits my 'ugh kid' response once, when really that's exactly what he needs to be aiming for in that scene as we see his mum's patience start to unravel - justifiably), is obsessed with monsters and fighting them off. When Amelia find an odd (read: horrific in a similar manner to Itchy and Scratchy but MUCH more malevolent) storybook titled The Babadook, on Samuel's bookshelf, she starts to wonder if her son really is being plagued by monsters. The horror elements are so superbly introduced and well done that you could almost be forgiven for missing the heart of the film - the story of a mother and son, and whether their love for each other can help them survive. The cresendo of the piece really ties together all these strands, and I don't think I've ever wanted a kid to stab someone as much as I did in this film. Go, Samuel! On reflection, I actually cannot believe that this is writer-director Jennifer Kent's first full-length feature film. The Babadook is inspired by Kent's 2005 short film MONSTER but her skill for developing tension across a sustained period of time, and creating complex characters is extraordinary. And I just heard that she won both Best Horror Film and Best Horror Screenplay at Fantastic Fest 2014. Horror connoisseurs should take notice.