The Babadook (2014) Poster

(2014)

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8/10
Genuine terror
Andrew Gold15 May 2015
The Babadook isn't for the mainstream crowd. If you're looking for jump scares and scary monsters you wont find any here. The Babadook is a movie that taps into the basal emotion of fear. It portrays the truly terrifying things in life - grief, loneliness, and despair. Not things that freak you out but things that make you unsettled, disturbed, and human.

The acting is fantastic, the story itself is unique and told brilliantly through its subtle writing and directing, it's very well paced, I could go on and on. What I love about this movie especially is the suspense. There is always tension present throughout the movie, like there's an underlying unease to every shot. The way Jennifer Kent crafts these shots is bleak and macabre but not to the point where it's depressing. You're always on the edge of your seat. And I can't give enough credit to Essie Davis. Her performance is Academy Award worthy material, seriously. The son is great as well. At first he may seem obnoxious, and to an extent he is, but he acts exactly how a kid would act in that situation. You believe him. You believe everything these characters are doing, and that's what makes this movie work so well.

The Babadook really is one of the best horror movies I've seen in a long time and I've seen a lot. Is it scarier than The Conjuring or Sinister? I wouldn't say that, but that depends entirely on your definition of scary. This movie explores the more disturbing and realistic side of the genre, I'd say it's more haunting than said movies for sure. It's psychological horror at its finest. It actually gets under your skin, and when a movie can do that, it has done its job.
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8/10
Chilling and Sad.Ignore the One-Stars!
garydear30092 November 2014
Never written a review before. Haven't felt the need. But after seeing the 1 star reviews of this film,i just felt compelled.

Firstly,what this is.

I would say a cross between The Shining and We Need to talk about Kevin. This film is desperately sad. A woman who is haunted,first by her husbands death,then by the Babadook all while looking after her young son. This is a creepy, no jump scare, fantastic psychological horror. A rare gem that plays on all those fairytale fears that you may have had as a kid.

Second.What this isn't.

Well,not "The worst horror in years".I get that people have different opinions.I do.But this isn't a film that can justify that sort of nonsensical comment. It isn't a dull jump scare-filled blockbuster. The characters are not hot teenagers. They are believable, disturbed and this makes the film the slow,creeping horror that it is.

If you are a fan of horror,it really is a must see film.
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10/10
Beyond the Creeps
Mek Torres17 September 2014
At first glance, The Babadook may sound like a tale that warns people to not let children put creepy stories up into their heads. It may also be like one of those old horror movies with children being influenced by the ghost. The titular monster seems to have the potential of being a silly urban legend, such as Slender Man or the Hash Slinging Slasher (sorry about that), that is destined to be flooded with fan fiction, or simply just another horror movie icon, but the film surprisingly has a different aim than just scaring the audience. It might as well be a character study of a mother having a hard time moving on after the tragedy she's been through losing her husband and trying to raise her only son. The real horror doesn't come out that quick, but there is already a pretty compelling movie when it come to its characters. The tension is just the prize for being intrigued by the story's core. One thing people must know about the film is it's not generally about The Babadook monster. In spite that the antagonist has an ambitiously great campy design and his story is told well by a twisted storybook with wondrously illustrated diorama, the movie is still laden on the more human element of the tale, which is the struggle of a mother who is unable to live normally. The pacing of her life may move too fast for the film, but the sadness and deprivation beneath those regular troubling days are totally manifested even without extending any of its breathing. The plot mostly concerns Amelia finding a way to overcome Samuel's behavioral issues and her memories with the accident than dealing with the whole supernatural threat, for sure it is trying to build some slow burn, but even without that horror movie sense, it still feels like they're being tormented by life. It deliberately takes their personal grief seriously, making sure that they actually aren't insane, and nobody else could ever understand what they're going through. This is pretty much the most compelling view of the film, which makes them reasonably trapped into their own nightmares. Mister Babadook only becomes the boiling point of the ordeal. And when it hits to the part of the real scares, it sells well whenever the monster attacks. Instead of loud lazy jump scares, it rather spreads away signs of his presence and its effects to the family. His appearance has more terror if he's lurking in the shadows. It also has a nice use of practical effects to endure its very effective creeps. The performances of the two leads are outstanding for bringing the real heart of the picture. Essie Davis embraces the character, making her fear, depression, and shifting madness all visibly genuine. Same to the young Noah Wiseman who as well gives his character's actions some sense of anxiety. Some horror fans might get slightly disappointed for not giving The Babadook monster enough of the characterization he deserves. The other story is a lot more interesting to follow than his diorama tricks, and that is why I keep stating that the the movie is best viewed as a gloomy fairytale about a mother and a son fighting to keep a hold of themselves and promise to protect each other from the odds, even if the promise doesn't always apply, than just another horror movie being shown in our theaters. While it still has the right amount of admirably campy scares, the film often explores to the larger and much affecting side of the story, and that sure offers beyond than what you expect to this stale genre.
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8/10
Great Australian horror film
Peter Tucker7 June 2014
You've heard of feel-good films, well this is not one. It's creepy and disturbing pretty well all the way, a good old horror fantasy with a nod to the psychological canniness of Nightmare on Elm Street but much more economical in terms of special effects, casting and I would imagine budget. It nevertheless maintains tension and atmosphere along with some high-flying dramatic sequences from the actors which bear comparison with The Exorcist. The plot also connects nicely with the psychological and existential conflicts facing a single mother whose son's birth coincided with the tragic death of her husband, and the whole nasty Babadook phenomenon, and its unresolved outcome, can certainly be read as an allegory of this traumatic event. Maybe it's over-reading to say the film also contains a Nietszchian lesson about the importance of embracing every aspect of one's life and history, no matter how horrific - but it works for me. The acting is amazingly good from the two leads, although the supporting characters are a bit stereotyped, a directing decision presumably. Sets and locations are charged with a bleak gloom, and the colour accordingly verges on monochrome. Love the specially made children's book, and Mr Babadook's physical character, as well as the wonderfully curated vintage movie footage appearing throughout on the TV screen. And a special word for the very fine intricately crafted sound design.
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10/10
Not what you expect
goakim10 April 2014
I saw this film on Copenhagen pix yesterday. The movie was compared to "the orphanage", and even though i liked that film i was a bit in doubt if i should go for it because i was not in the mood for a heavy emotional, mother and son horror-drama. But its everything but. Sure its horror, sure its drama, but the tone is very different from the Spanish movies around same kind of subject which are very serious.This is way more fresh, snappy and sometimes funny actually, without being lame. But also creepy, its the change of moods thats freaky. Nice style. The actors are supreme and the whole socialrrealistic scene around it is far out and overexagerated, which the horror part also is. But it works, because its a metaphorical movie describing a feeling. Its highly original. If you expect the same supernatural children horror movie As you have seen before, think twice. This is new, this is cool, different. The best movie i have seen in a year. Serious. It never gets melodramatic, its fast, entertaining and a bit psychedelic. Very refreshing. And smart, clever. It has it all. I am a big fan.
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10/10
Ba Ba-Ba Dook! Dook! Dook!
Spikeopath19 November 2014
The Babadook is written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall and Hayley McElhinney. Music is by Jed Kurzel and cinematography by Radek Ladczuk.

Amelia is a single mother still haunted by the violent death of her husband, she is trying to deal with her young son Samuel's fear of a monster in the house. Initially tolerating it as a flight of fancy, the arrival of a book in the youngster's bedroom called Mr. Babadook, signals the start of a sinister presence that she herself can begin to fear as well.

Australia has been producing some great horror films in the last couple of decades, The Babadook is one of the best of the bunch. Jennifer Kent made it as a 10 minute short back in 2005 called Monster, itself a super piece of horror film making, now in full feature length form (Kent's first), the vision and intelligence explodes off the screen in every frame.

The premise at the core is not exactly fresh, but Kent manages to make The Babadook its own entity, skilfully steering away from formula jolts and terrors. Which in this day and age of horror retreads, sequel frenzies and blood for blood's sake, is most refreshing. This is a big character piece, a two hander of incredible emotional power, a mother and son dealing with their own demons before the eponymous Mr. Babadook enters the fray. We care about this pair of troubled souls, so much so that as we start to feel the dread, get the tingles down the spine, our hearts are also aching for them. The two performances of the actors quite simply magnificent.

Mr. Babadook is a pop-up picture book that suddenly arrives into their lives. The creature is a sort of cross between a German expressionistic nightmare and Jack the Ripper. The book itself is creepy enough in its own right, more so as it starts to take on a more terrifying tone – and Amelia proves unsuccessful at getting rid of the thing – the picture starts playing its ace psychological cards. The monster is kept mostly to the edges of the frames, or just popping up for a quick glance in unexpected places, this is a great move and suits the narrative perfectly.

The tech credits are top notch. A key aspect to getting the most out of The Babadook is to make sure the sound is loud, for the sound mix is tremendous and can bring pounds of goose-flesh rising up on your arms. Ladczuk's photography is at one with the themes pulsing away in the story, the colours paled and cheerless, enhancing the fractured psyches of mother and son, but Mr. Babadook is a jet black presence in this landscape. All told the art design from the book to the house and the creature is excellent.

Umbrella's Australian All Region Blu-ray Release has a super transfer and does justice to the sound mix. There's over an hour of interviews, which are a mixed bag of informative chat and back slapping, a 12 minute behind the scenes making of and some trailers. The bonus is the 10 minute short, Monster, The Babadook in its infancy but no less scary for it.

The Babadook is a superlative horror film for adults, like when Polanski met Kubrick and they decided to pay homage to Fritz Lang and George Melies. Yes it's that good. 10/10
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7/10
Better than most, but not quite up there with the best.
mutantdog23 January 2016
It's a rare thing when I give anything labeled horror more than a passing glance. The genre has become so completely oversaturated by teen slasher flicks, soulless gorefests and inferior remakes. Having said that I'd heard enough to convince me this may be one of the rare exceptions, unsurprisingly this is a low-key non-Hollywood affair.

Of course there have been enough horrors over the years for a pretty well defined list of tropes to be a known part of the movie-going consciousness. While The Babadook does deviate from the standard affair we all know and are mostly bored of, it does bring in a few of the more classic tropes, the problem child, the distraught mother and thankfully the illusive villain. Throw in a fair dose of questionable insanity and you have a recipe for a decent classic style horror.

In this respect it doesn't disappoint, of course it can't hold up to Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist or The Shining but it is certainly familiar of those and in no bad way. Paying tasteful homage to inspirations is acceptable if the movie can stand up on its own weight and in this it succeeds.

The actual premise itself seems fairly original, although not groundbreaking, the shocks come from the actions of the characters rather than any clichéd jump-scare tactics. As others have mentioned, the underlying metaphor is not too subtle but surely that's part of what adds to the tension.

There was some really good editing throughout, keeping the feel of a fast paced movie while not rushing the story. The kid actor in it does an excellent job of appearing genuinely disturbed but simultaneously good natured.

The Babadook may not be a groundbreaker, I don't expect it to redefine the genre and I doubt it will appeal to the younger horror demographic, but if like me you yearn for the spirit of the classics to resurface once in a while, this is a pretty good attempt.

And provided the promise of no sequels is kept, this is one that will hold up well for some time.
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8/10
Subtle and Creepy
choosemymusic2 November 2014
I really enjoyed this film, its dark and unnerving without resorting to loud bangs or "found footage" style filming to get its scares.

Low budget and well shot, the film leans on the power of suggestion and tone to create a film which has a sense of unease throughout, tonally like the Exorcist, where there is this underlying feeling of dread and helplessness

The scares are not spoon fed, so this won't be for everyone, if your brand of horror is purely just modern films like Insidious or the recent Annabelle - then this might not be for you.

One of my favourite films of the year.
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9/10
Much more than a horror film
mikeburdick29 August 2015
While "The Babadook" may display some of the hallmarks of the traditional horror film, there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye. Far from the typical Hollywood bloodfest so brilliantly satired in "Cabin in the Woods," this film's characters are layered, its plot is mercurial, its actions are metaphorical, and its conclusions are ambiguous. All this is likely to disappoint those filmgoers who need to be spoonfed a formula. But if you're a film lover, Do. Not. Miss. This.

Director Jennifer Kent understands what most horror filmmakers fail to grasp: that our biggest fear isn't of crazy killers or monsters or ghosts, but of ourselves—what lives inside us, the emotions we have to live with, the illusory veil of self-control.

The plot revolves around a mum, her troubled son and the book he pulls off the shelf one night. But you already know too much. This is one film where knowing less going into it will really pay dividends. Really, don't even watch the trailer.

Just know that the storytelling and craft are flawless. Essie Davis delivers one of the most challenging performances put to screen with total commitment and credibility. Kent's storytelling is utterly absorbing and she so delicately treads the line between what's real and what's not that you can never be sure of yourself.

What you make of "The Babadook" will depend on who you are. You might take it at face value, as a creepy monster flick with all the constant threat and looming dread and shocking moments. You might take it as an attempt to capture the authentic experience of mental illness. You might take it as a symbolic story using a metaphor for grief and loss. The best films make you feel something and allow you the room to make sense of it yourself.

Personally, I thought about this film for days after seeing it, both because of its ambiguity and because of the themes it explores, namely mental illness and domestic violence. Yes, it's scary. But it's also touching and heartbreaking. While "The Babadook" belongs alongside other great psychological horror films, like "The Innocents" and "The Haunting" (1963), to classify it purely as "horror" really belittles its accomplishment as a film that challenges us to examine and discuss issues we are very uncomfortable tackling in reality.
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9/10
Definitely a new horror classic!
olivetart2 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start off with a little disclaimer: I am very picky with my horror movies made after the year 1990. Although some are excellent, I feel that they are few and far in between. I strongly believe that this is one of those few movies, and I urge you to watch it - no review necessary. GO NOW! This is one of those movies that isn't "in-your-face" scary, and it doesn't have jump-scares galore either. It's subtle, suspenseful, and downright creepy. There is a point in this movie where some believe the director lost the audience, but I beg to differ. This simple plot-twist was used to DRIVE the plot, not BE the plot (like in some other big- budget movies I won't name). The only little complaint I have about this film is the ending. I feel like they didn't know HOW to necessarily "kill the monster" properly and wanted a happier ending then most horror movies these days, but that only knocks this one down by one star for me. Now, before I spoil anything for you, I suggest you go and make up your own mind about this new horror classic. This is definitely one I wish we could have had in theaters this past Halloween, I'd buy two tickets!
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9/10
Whether you like it or not , this movie will take you places you don't want to go.
airsnob29 April 2015
It's not a typical horror movie and that's also what makes it great. There are some bad reviews here but what I always do is check out the reviewers... I pick one that said the film was horrible and one that said it was great. A quick check on their profile and looking at their other reviews helps give me some perspective on their taste. For example one of the bad reviewers on here enjoyed the movie Jessabelle. While not an awful movie. It's also a movie for dumb people. Simple and easy to understand and nothing really spectacular goes on. The acting is mediocre and the script predictable. It's like a high school film. She also gave Night at the Museum 10 stars. So you can tell she is probably a teenager. I do that with just about every movie I watch on Netflix. To help me not waste time. It's amazing because there are a ton of great movies that get average ratings here, and a ton of average movies that get really high ratings here. Like The Conjuring. That got very high ratings and it just wasn't that great. It was good but not a stand out. America has really really bad taste in film. Actually, in just about every genre of art. We have zero culture , and the rest of the world considers us it's blonde cousin for a reason. We are the dumbest nation in the world. But if a movie gets really high reviews here and those reviews are overwhelmingly good, you can bet it's a pretty good movie. At the least well made and entertaining. This movie stands out for a few reasons and here are the reasons it stood out for me . Because it is totally original. And it's so candid about parenthood.. Any parent can relate to this film, esp if they have kids with "issues" or that have been through a lot in their small lives. It captured perfectly the slightly troubled child. I too think that it showed what I know I've experienced as a single mom with two kids .. That need for space that you just don't get. The need for adult interaction that you also don't get if you don't allow yourself it. So there is a deep well here for character study and relationship dynamics.. I mean deep as in horror movies. So, on top of that the movie is freaky and strange and frightening . This is by far way more of a mind f*** than any Rob Zombie movie for me. A lot of people Really appreciate that kind of movie , like The Hills Have Eyes. They want the most disturbing , cruel , disgusting things to watch. I'm not them . I have to believe a movie for it to be put in the good box. Although those movies are entertainment , they also are like a prank in a way . Like all the directors got together for a game of Spin the Bottle and the ones that made like the Texas Chainsaw films asked for Dare. This movie isn't going to appeal to kids. , isn't going to appeal to the Hills Have Eyes fan club, the people that don't like to expend any energy on thinking , or just in general have short and shallow attention spans that they really a can't focus on anything that isn't doing something horrible is happening.
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8/10
Powerful Australian movie
perica-4315120 July 2018
This movie is a slightly pretentious, but powerful and original movie about guilt ridden mother and some metaphorical horrors, that ring only too true. Good cinematography, competent acting, original story, nice concept. A bit contrived and pretentious, but well worth a watch.
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7/10
Beware of the Babadook
aldri-feb8 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Original and truly terrifying, "The Babadook" proves what a horror-fiction movie could do with involving more on psychological emotion from it's protagonist character rather than shocking audience with ghost appearances. It has totally different ways to scare compared with James Wan's "The Conjuring" or "Insidious". The movie focused on Babadook, a scary creature from children's tale but even The Babadook appearance itself wasn't much exploited and seems too mysterious. The débutant director, Jennifer Kent has successfully and smartly convinced also planted images of Babadook character at audience's mind without much showing what it really looks like and keep them guessing at the ending part. Babadook only appears couple times at shadow, sounds or some hallucinations.

What definitely makes this film that scary is a standout performance from Essie Davis. Her acting as Amelia greatly portrays a destroyed and depressed mother who have unwell circumstances to raise her only son. At first half of the film, audiences were dragged to feel the stressful condition and sympathy to Amelia but she with her gesture and changed behavior would surely scare them when it reaches last 20 minutes. "The Babadook" is a respectful and undeniably creepy old-school horror movie that is rarely to find these days. With also supported by strong performances from Essie Davis, spooky suggestive premise and surrounded by annoying score, makes Babadook easier to sneak in your midnight sleep and haunt you as worst nightmare.
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4/10
Had potential, but ends up a pretty average horror movie
grantss23 April 2015
Had potential, but ends up a pretty average horror movie.

Horror movies are easily the worst, least original genre of movies. Really very little room for originality and tend to fall back on the same clichés.

The Babadook seemed to have potential, though was never that original. The tension and intrigue were built well. However, it pretty quickly fell back on standard horror formulae, and ended in a random, chaotic, confusing, pointless mess.

Good performance by Essie Davis in the lead role. Noah Wiseman makes for a very irritating kid, though that might be the director and script's fault. Even in the beginning, when the movie had potential and hadn't fallen apart yet, the kid was the thing preventing it from being enjoyable.
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7/10
The scariest "children's film" I have ever seen
Cineman1715 January 2014
We are all familiar with the scenario: a young boy with an overactive imagination becomes terrified of the monster underneath his bed, and rushes to his mother for a therapeutic bedtime story. But what if this imaginary monster actually becomes real? This is the set up for a new Australian horror flick premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival entitled The Babadook. Our protagonist, Sam, is terrified of monsters. So terrified he is loosing sleep, causing trouble in class, and creating his own sinister weaponry out of household objects as a means of defense. It's enough to drive his widowed mother, Amelia, into a frantic state of paranoia. As tensions between the two escalate, a new presence called the Babadook makes it's way into the household which questions the sanity of everyone involved. The film cleverly embraces and deconstructs typical horror film conventions in order to create something new. Though it is hilariously playful and entertaining, it's also a terrifying psychological thrill in the same vein as films like Black Swan or Rosemary's Baby. Essie Davis is great as Amelia, but newcomer Noah Wiseman gives an incredibly memorable child acting performance. If you are a horror fan looking for something new, look no further than The Babadook. Just be prepared to have nightmares afterward, and remember to leave the kiddos at home for this one.
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1/10
Not even bad enough to be funny
shauncore80817 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
{Technically contains spoilers. Nothing to actually spoil}

Suggested tag-line: "The consequences of not spanking your child"

For the entire painstaking extent of the movie, one, and only one, emotion persists: a profound dislike of both of the main characters. The mother, after being in the car during the death of her husband years earlier, has an incredible amount of difficulty doing even the simplest, easiest tasks. Simply put, she is pathetic in the worst meaning of the term; a shell of a person. This may very well have been written intentionally, except that the shear amount of time that has passed makes it unacceptable that she is still somehow unable to handle simple day-to-day experiences even four years later.

It is this inability that has allowed her child to grow to roughly age 4 without even the faintest sign of discipline. Simply put, the child is more of a monster than the actual monster in this movie. Time and time again, he does things to endanger himself and others, all the while the mother just continues on in her own perpetually overwhelmed world.

This situation drones on and on for more than half the movie. To say that it's painful to sit through is an understatement. To say that it makes you despise both of them is understatement.

Given the rave reviews this movie received, I was determined to see it through to the end despite being thoroughly tired of it by the 30- minute mark. What I found was an anti-climatic movie that was sub-par in every regard except possibly the acting, assuming that these terrible characters were indeed as intended. To say that The Babadook is bad fails to do it justice.

Many people that like the movie praise it for being atypical of a horror movie, for being more of a psychological thriller than shock or jump horror, for it's atmosphere. As someone that thinks jump horror to be cheap, and far prefers psychological thrillers any day, let me say this: The Babadook is not a psychological thriller, as it is not thrilling. It is not atmospheric, as the entire movie is dull in every sense. It is not jump horror. It is not shock horror. It is not gore. It is not excited. It is not intelligent. It is not creative. It is nothing more than a strung-out story of two terrible people.

In short, it is nothing.
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8/10
Midnight Viewing at Sundance!
seth17764 March 2014
I stood in line on a whim to see this movie in Jan. I love suspense and thriller movies, and this was both. The audience was full of gasps and little shrieks as the movie progressed. Even though I thought I knew what was coming I still found myself caught off guard. The young boy is an amazing actor, and when I learned from the Q & A after the movie how some of the scenes were filmed it made me appreciate the movie more. Parts of one scene reminded me of the movie Sinster which I saw a few weeks before. Not a connection I would have made had I not JUST seen it.

Over all I would not miss this movie, and cant wait to see it again with friends.
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5/10
Interesting premise but poor execution
geoced26 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
On paper, The Babadook had a lot of potential and seemed to promise something refreshing to a genre that desperately needs it. Unfortunately, it suffers from all the usual tropes of horror films, without bringing anything new to the table. I found both lead actors to be particularly annoying : the always whining and screaming boy and the clinically depressed hushing mother. I couldn't care less about their fate ! As far as the monster is concerned, the director didn't bother to explain its origin, meaning or how to defeat it. As always in this case, some may like the fact that it leaves things purposefully open to interpretation, and others, like me, would have preferred if some hints were dropped here and there ! Either way, the ending is really unsatisfying and dull.

I'm sure the film is meant as a metaphor for the mother's grief, but it could have been better if they had more carefully and subtly built the tension, and if the cinematography and score were more sinister. It had potential but I found the pacing to be a bit off and the scary bits were quite cheap. In fact, I'm not even sure you can call The Babadook a horror film. It felt more like a psychological thriller and should have been advertised as such. 5 out of 10.
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9/10
A Haunting and Brilliant Unconventional Horror Classic
Jared_Andrews28 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
So many modern scary movies follow the same patterns. They introduce a killer—sometimes a person, sometimes a supernatural being—then the killer proceeds to wreak havoc on the main characters. Most of the frightening content comes from jump scares and violence. It's all very procedural and drab.

The Babadook breaks all the standard conventions. It does so right from the open.

Typically in horror films, the opening sequence takes place a night, in an isolated location, with a lone female. She meanders about without a care in the world then boom! The killer strikes. Then the title flashes on screen.

The Babadook begins much the same (except the lone female is with her young son rather than being alone). But no killer strikes. A purposefully framed shot lingers on screen, clearly foreshadowing something. Exactly what is not certain. Then the title flashes on screen. Viewers are left furrowing their brows and wondering, "why that shot? I don't get it." That's the point. You aren't supposed to understand. Not yet.

Unlike most scary movies, it does not immediately make clear who or what the monster is. The monster isn't even introduced until nearly 30 minutes into the movie. It doesn't appear on screen until 20 minutes after that. By movie's end, it remains cloudy what exactly the monster is or if this monster is a real, tangible entity.

As an enthusiastic scary movie fan, I cannot express how refreshing it is to see one that respects the audience's intelligence. Nothing is clearly spelled out. The mysterious nature fosters an eerie vibe that builds throughout the story. This causes the viewers to think and wonder, which is a vastly underused technique in scary movies. One of our greatest fears as humans is that of the unknown. This movie plays on that fear.

This mysterious style, along with the creepy lifeless color scheme in the house, establish an unsettling tone. Some of the best scary movies ever made opt for tone as the main method of frights over the traditional jump scares. Setting and maintaining a tone takes far more effort and skill, which is why fewer movies choose that route. Appreciate this tactic. You won't often see it executed better.

One of my favorite ways to judge the effectiveness of a scary movie is by how it sticks with me after it ends. In this case, I felt as much unease in the two hours following the credits as I did in those preceding them. The Babadook has a haunting brilliance that sticks with you. That's the sign of horror classic.
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3/10
If you like scary films that are well written, pass on this
charlsincharge14 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Although this movie initially had me intrigued by great reviews, attractive teasers and the promise of an original tale, I found myself immensely disappointed at the conclusion of this drawn out film.

I understood the emotional drive behind the very flawed mother character, but that still didn't make me sympathetic to her plight. The fact that she was her own antagonist, and that she eventually turns on her son, does nothing for me as a viewer. By the end, I was just hoping the imaginary villain would kill our protagonist (which would have been suicide a form).

As a whole, this film had very few scary moments, and even fewer moments of suspense, and will likely leave true fan of the horror genre in a state of disappointment.... It wasn't a bad film. But, it certainly was not a good horror film by any means.

On a positive note, I'm very glad the film makers achieved critical and commercial success (despite my dislike of the film). Bravo!
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2/10
Mediocre at best.
Scotie Rainwater1 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The best thing about this movie is that it's trying to be scary, has a pretty interesting idea behind it, and doesn't reply on jump-scare abuse.

But other than that it's pretty bad.

The child is annoying. I don't blame the actor since he is a kid, but he wasn't the best at acting (smiling when he was supposed to be scared sort of stuff). He also had a really high pitched voice that may me pray he would suddenly hit puberty mid movie. I hate who ever write this script for making him scream. The character himself appears to be somewhat autistic and is being portrayed as a burden.

The mother was good acting but the character was just kind of eh. Teachers offered to put her kid in a special class and she freaked out and just took him out of school all together. She really needed to pick up a parenting book or go to a parenting class or something because she's letting her kid build monster death devices and doesn't keep a good eye on him, then she gets upset when he does something dangerous and not in a "You could have gotten hurt" sort of upset.

And the monster isn't scary. It sounds like a pterodactyl and looks like the spawn of Laughing Jack and The Penguin.
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2/10
Very bad
Brendan Adams26 October 2014
My girlfriend and I went to see this after reading the great reviews online.

She is a fan of horrors and was very excited by the scored it received. But ultimately we (and it seems everyone else in the cinema) found it more humorous than scary.

This film failed to decided if it wanted to be a proper supernatural horror or a psychological drama focusing on depression/bereavement.

Desperate metaphors attempt to distract you from the weak and boring narrative. But it just drags on goes nowhere and the ending is bizarre. DO NOT BE MISLEAD! AVOID
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1/10
Yawn.
Marauder_Of_Mayhem6 November 2014
I saw another person compare this to 'The Exorcist' and I had to write something, because it's the most ridiculous statement I have ever read about any horror film, ever.

This does not deserve it's current rating of 7.1, I will not give away the plot, but all I will say is, you get the feeling something dark and creepy is building, it's very slow and has a bit of suspense to keep you wondering, but the effects are poor and the generic evil character that we see in so many films, is laughable.

And that's about it, it's not scary and most definitely is absolutely nothing like 'The Exorcist', which is a masterpiece.

By all means watch it yourself, but it was a waste of money in the cinema.
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6/10
Overrated with Disappointing Conclusion
Claudio Carvalho17 August 2015
The widow Amelia (Essie Davis) lost her husband in a car accident while driving her to the hospital to give birth to their son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). She has quited writing books for children and presently works at a nursing home to raise Samuel alone. However the boy is problematic and outcast by his friends and even by his aunt Claire (Hayley McElhinney) and his cousin Ruby (Chloe Hurn). Amelia usually reads books for Samuel before sleeping and one night he gives the mysterious book Mister Babadook that he has found in his room. Amelia and Samuel are disturbed by the book that tells the story of a supernatural entity that torments people and Samuel tells that Babadook is haunting him during the night. Amelia rips up the book and throws it in the garbage, but soon they are haunted by Babadook. Amelia uses pills and Samuel and she are able to sleep during the night. When the book Mister Babadook appears mended in her front door, weird events happen in the house. Does Mr. Babadook really exist?

"The Babadook" is a creepy horror movie about a woman that has been grieving the loss of her husband for many years and her son that fears monsters and has a strange behavior. When they become aware of the supernatural Babadook, they are tormented by the being and the woman is possessed by Babadook. Why Amelia does not immediately move to another house with her son after the supernatural events? The story has a promising beginning and development that recalls "The Shinning" with the possession of Amelia. However the conclusion is very disappointing and if the intention of the writer and director Jennifer Kent is a metaphor, she did not succeeded since it is not clear. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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3/10
Really didn't like it
rjaynesmith15 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I really didn't enjoy The Babadook and it seemed that this feeling was shared with many in the cinema I was at. The acting, production and technical elements were good but the story and character development really let it down. There was no explanation of why the Babadook was in their house or what it's motivation was at all, which is really important in a movie with a supernatural element. Also I felt the way the supporting characters behaved to be very untrue to life and needed more back story to make their actions believable. The film was also a bit long and the ending just bizarre. The ending might have worked, again, if there was more development into why the characters were behaving the way they were.

If you're looking for a good Australian horror I would watch The Loved Ones.
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