Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live there ... See full summary »
Rima Te Wiata,
Amelia, who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to Samuel, their only child. She struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom. Samuel's constant fear of monsters and violent reaction to overcome the fear doesn't help her cause either, which makes her friends become distant. When things can not get any worse, they read a strange book in their house about the 'Babadook' monster that hides in the dark areas of their house. Even Amelia seems to feel the effect of Babadook and desperately tries in vain to destroy the book. The nightmarish experiences the two encounter form the rest of the story. Written by
The babadook is based on the short film Monster (2005). The director calls it the "baby babadook". See more »
When Amelia gets the ripped up book back and looks at the new pages, the last page says (Line 3): the more you deny the (Line 4): stronger I get. Yet when the camera pans over the words on the page, the second 'the' has been cut out from the end of line three and moved to the fourth line making it (Line 4): the stronger I get. See more »
Nothing short of absolutely terrific. I saw very frightened.
I have a rule about my movie collection: whenever I see a horror film that truly terrifies me, a picture that makes me instantly regret sitting in the movie theater because I get that icy grip of fright, I have to add it to my collection. I will also consider a horror movie worthy of finding itself a spot on my shelf if it has a really clever premise, or some dynamite interpretations of a familiar horror trope. Even great performances or some smart references to the movies I like could easily make a movie worthy. "The Babadook" is most certainly worthy of finding itself an immortal spot in my roster and if you want a truly frightening and very intelligent horror film, do no miss out on this one.
Before I get to the premise of the film, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard someone tell you they consider their pet to be a real member of their family? I'd say that applies to my cat, but sometimes he really makes me angry. He knocks things over, wakes me up when I want to keep sleeping, I have to clean out his litter box and don't even get me started when he scratches me. I love the beast, but there are days when he infuriates me. Imagine that you had a pet like that. Adorable at times, but mostly it's an animal that misbehaved. Now imagine that one day, you hear a knock on your door and through the peephole, you see a monster, the stuff from your nightmares. It tells you that it will never stop haunting you and that if the lights in your house go out, it's coming in through the shadows. You only have one chance of saving yourself... open the door and feed it your pet. Now, on a regular day, you might tell the monster to go jump off a bridge because you love Mr. Whiskers over here... but what if at that particular moment your feline happened to knock over a very valuable dish your grandmother gave you, and it shattered into a million pieces... wouldn't you be tempted to get two birds with one stone by giving that monster your bad cat? This movie contains that kind of complexity and those kinds of scary ideas.
This film is about two things. The first is about a mother (Essie Davis as Amelia) who's at the end of her rope. Work is not particularly stimulating, her heart is still broken over the loss of her husband and even worse, she lives with a monster in the form of her son, Sam (Noah Wiseman). He's always misbehaving, destroying things, embarrassing her, pushing away her friends and family with his tantrums and inappropriate little stories. It's enough to drive you crazy! What this movie is also about is a book called "Mr. Babadook". Once you read it, you've been marked. You think the creepy illustrations inside are frightening? It's nothing compared to seeing that nightmare fuel of a figure sneaking out of the shadows and getting ready to do who knows what to you.
Having lived with a misbehaving little boy, as well as several siblings I can assure you that children are sweet sometimes, but they can also be demons. This movie shows a child at his absolute worst. There were times where I didn't know where the movie was going because I wasn't sure if this was a true horror story with a monster summoned from who knows where and ready to do unimaginable terrors onto this poor family, or if it was documentation of what happens when a stressed mind finally snaps. The movie keeps you guessing throughout and it's a great way to keep the terror flowing continuously. Is it a combination of factors that makes Amelia see this demon, meaning that a normal solution could be found... or is it an actual monster, at which point there is very little, if any hope? What tends to frighten me are the simple things: a white face looking through your window in the middle of the night, a man with a saw running after you for no reason, the dark, things I love being turned against me. "The Babadook" is a great example of a simple premise expanded upon enough to make a full-length story without giving away too much. What if there actually is something hiding in the closet at night when all the lights are out? What if believing in monsters was the key to making it go away, but acknowledging it meant confirming an even more terrifying fact, that monsters ARE REAL? What if you realize one day that you actually do hate your son, and that you're a bad parent? Those are what I call primal fears. Anyone can be afraid of this, unlike something really specific, like sharks or spiders. I was totally engrossed in the story until it became overwhelming. I found myself gripping the arm rests of my chair very tightly multiple times and I screamed like a little girl at least once.
On top of being effective and being a multi-layered movie, I admire "The Babadook" for having some terrific performances. Child actors often spell trouble, but Noah Wiseman is absolutely perfect here. I also thought that the movie had some really interesting points of character development throughout. How I felt about these people at the beginning was very different from what I felt at the end. Finally, I am so frightened of this movie that I absolutely must get myself a copy of the actual book that causes all of the terror. Will I ever read it? Not unless I want to skip out on some sleep, but the idea of owning it fascinates me. I thought it was inventive, intelligent, clever and truly horrifying. It's the best new horror film I've seen in a while. (Theatrical version on the big screen, March 26, 2015)
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