Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Babadook (2014)

 The Babadook

IMDB rate: 6,9
Genre: Drama
Starring: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall

A few weeks ago I read an article about a very well known horror movie director (shamefully, I can't remember who it was, but trust me if I tell you he is well known), who thought The Babadook was one of the scariest movies he had ever seen. Coming from this director I thought it was definitely something worth checking out. I had no idea what The Babadook was about, but the poster looked promising. 

What The Babadook is about:
Amelia who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to the give birth to Samuel, their only kid, struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom. Samuel's constant fear of monsters and his violent reaction to overcome the fear doesn't help her cause either which makes her friends distance themselves. When things can not get any worse, they read a strange book in their house that talks 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 to destroy the book, but in vain! The nightmarish experiences the two encounter form the rest of the story.

I wouldn't necessarily say that The Babadook is a very scary movie, there are no jump scares at all and every time something does tend to happen, it doesn't exactly reach that scary point. I would more say that The Babadook is a psychological horror movie. It's a very sad movie. I think it's a bit comparable with We Need To Talk About Kevin, only I thought this movie was more exciting.
Unlike other horror movies this one isn't infested with fear and terror of the unknown creature, there's also a human element in it; that of a mother who is on the edge of losing her mind after losing her husband, dealing with her somewhat crazy son and with this unknown creature called The Babadook. 

I also want to add that I admire the actress Essie Davis tons for this movie, she did an amazing acting job. Her depression, anxiety, fear and slowly shifting madness are all very well shown. You can't help but feel incredibly sorry for the poor woman. Daniel Henshall plays her son, not really sure what to think of him to be honest. At some moments I thought he was good, but at times I also thought that he wasn't very good. Sometimes when he was mad or sad, it was almost as if he was smiling. A bit of an annoying character as well, very loud and asking for attention all the time. 

Small spoiler alert!
I must admit that when I finished watching it I wasn't exactly sure what to think of the ending. It just didn't feel right. I don't have much imagination, so I searched IMDB for some explanations. I found tons of interesting explanations, the most interesting one being that Amelia is the one who wrote the book, this is because she already told that she wrote children's books and when she arrived at the police station her hands were black. The Babadook stands for all the problems she and her son have, and they have to conquer them together, or die together. The Babadook eventually living in peace in their basement could mean that they learned to live with their past.

With this being said, I think it's clear that this movie shouldn't be viewed as just another horror movie of a family that gets haunted by a creature. I did watch it like that and that will make the ending look stupid and unsatisfying, while in reality it's something to think about. I would say it's a bit comparable with The Orphanage. 

When I first watched this movie I must admit that I did not like it a whole lot, mostly because of the ending. I started looking around for more information about the movie and it gave me a whole new perspective of the movie which made me like it a whole lot more. Great acting and incredibly terrifying pictures in The Babadook-book.

My rate: 7,5/10

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