Horrorfest 2015 Presents: The Babadook (2014, Jennifer Kent)


After watching The Babadook I realize that I’m glad I don’t have kids. Poor Amelia is a widow dealing with the fact that her kid’s birthday is on the same day her husband died. So things don’t get any better when her son, Samuel, believes that a monster is after them. Naturally things spiral downward from then on, eventually building up to the possibility that it may be all in their imagination. Or maybe not. Either way, not good. The rhyme describing the creature itself is beyond creepy.

Few horror movies adequately deal with female issues and problems. Well The Babadook does this in spades and is a truly frightening and nightmarish experience. The opening is a slow burn that eventually leads to a mass escalation and the Babadook making an appearance. I love how the monster is practical effects and not CGI, which results in attack scenes being highly effective. Also the ending was somewhat unexpected, a hallmark of a good horror film.

Despite some questionable moments this is a near great and terrifying horror film. Several moments recall previous classic horror movies and Essie Davis gives a brave and unflinching performance as Amelia, while Noah Wiseman is great and surprising as Sam. Without giving further details I must say that I like the story and feel that based on observation and basic knowledge this film does a fine job of covering what it’s like to deal with a troubled child while being a single parent.

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