The Babadook (2014)

babadook poster 2014 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting story, good cast, visuals

Wanted more of the Babadook

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Babadook

Studio:  Cinetic Media

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  January 17, 2014 (Sundance Film Festival)/May 22, 2014 (Australia)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

babadook monster

Smile! Mr. Babadook says hello!

Amelia Vannick (Essie Davis) has suffered tragedy in her life.  Her husband Oskar (Benjamin Winspear) was killed on the way to the hospital to deliver their son.  Now, a single mother, Amelia is finding her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) is troubled, and she cannot even afford the help he really needs.  Pushed to the edge, Amelia has a very small support network and growing bills and problems.  When a mysterious book called Mister Babadook shows up in their home, Samuel begins to be haunted by fears of the Babadook, but could the Babadook and his menacing appearance be real?  As Amelia descends into madness, the Babadook appears to be winning the struggle for Amelia’s sanity…and he is not only coming for Samuel but for all that let him in.

babadook essie davis primal scream

Scream if you love The Babadook!

Directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is an Australian horror film.  The movie premiered at Sundance in 2014 and was a critical success.  It was based on the short 2005 film Monster and rapidly gained a cult following but also found audiences divided on the movie.

I heard about The Babadook, and as a fan of horror, I wanted to see it.  Horror (and many films in general) are a tired genre and studios often take the easy way out.  With positive reviews, The Babadook appeared to be a different type of horror film…which it is.  I can say watching it, it wasn’t what I expected.

babadook illustrations

All the best books end with dead kids!

The story of The Babadook plays like a fairy tale meets a psychological thriller.  I felt like I was watching an episode of Tales from the Darkside through most of the movie…it had an odd low-budget feel to it and a psychological aspect that I felt was unique to that series which generally did combine classic horror with psychology.  The movie features the psychological descent of the mother as the son becomes the hero.  The Babadook remains relatively unexplained and mysterious…but feels like it is a real creature instead of something just in the mind of the character.

Essie Davis does a great job on the mother the verge as her son played by Noah Wiseman is the type of troubled child that a mother could feel trapped by.  Davis’ descent into madness is accompanied by Wiseman becoming stronger and more independent in his attempt to save her.  The two actors play well off each other and help to make the story.

babadook essie davis chokes noah wiseman

Listen, lady…at this point, we’ll look the other way

The visuals of the movie are also a draw.  The movie blends animation from the storybook of the Babadook with the real life imagery.  the monster is rather cool, but I wish that you got to see more of it.  Part of the movie’s charm is keeping the Babadook in the shadows, but it is such a cool creature that I also wish you could see more.

The Babadook is a different type of film.  I feel that the ideas and concepts of the movie are interesting and different, but I also wasn’t a big fan of the very ending of the film.  There were only a few directions that the movie could go and I didn’t feel that it necessarily picked the best direction.  Still, The Babadook is a unique and different horror movie and that makes it worth checking out…but remember once you invite the Babadook in, it may be hard to get him to leave.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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