I should start by saying that if you’ve ever had to look under your bed for monsters or check to make sure your closet door was closed while you slept, this film is not for you. The critically acclaimed Australian film, The Babadook, which might be described as a psychological thriller, resurfaces all the fears you had as a child of monsters and things that go bump in the night.
The film follows widowed mother Amelia (Essie Davis), and her challenging son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who is consistently plagued by nightmares and preoccupied by a violent imaginary monster. Their relationship appears parasitic as Samuel’s erratic and aggressive behavior drains Amelia to the very core.
At the start, Samuel appears to be the only frightening thing in the film with his violent outbursts and needy behavior. However, with the appearance of a book called The Babadook, everything takes a turn for the horrifying. The book keeps appearing after being destroyed and changes its contents but, one thing remains constant, a terrifying boogeyman like creature donned with spindly fingers, a wide smile, and a top hat, that gives promise to not only end your life but everything you care about.
I can proudly say that horror movies, while they make me jump on occasion, have never really left an everlasting terror impression on me. That all changed with viewing The Babadook. With most horror movies the mantra, “It’s not real” keeps me a at bay, and that’s what makes this movie truly terrifying. The idea behind the creature is that if so much as the name crosses your mind or you hear a noise and look and think it may be him, it is him. The Babadook is all-consuming and will never truly leave. He isn’t thirsty for blood, driven by revenge, or weakened by silver bullets; he feeds off your fear, which is basically impossible to diminish if he can lurk in every physical and mental corner. “It’s not real” then begins to take a very different meaning as the film progresses and you begin to question if the Babadook is something else entirely.
The acting (from a very limited cast) is truly something to see and really make you believe that this monster exists. The tight focus, sharp turns, eerie music, and bleak colors, all help to make this movie a true piece of horror. I highly recommend this film as not only an amazing horror movie but a great film all together. Please go see this film as it has a limited release time. And of course remember while as terrifying as the Babadook is, he isn’t real… I think.