Director: Jennifer Kent
Featuring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Age Rating: 15
Running Time: 93 Minutes
It was critically acclaimed “horror of the year” in 2014, and the plot which every children’s stories fan feared. Fortunately enough, it lived up to the expectations.
Set in Australia, this particular psychological thriller tells the story of widowed mother Amelia (Essie Davis) and her troubled son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who appears to have behavioural problems. Even though it is very hard to sympathise with the boy and especially warm to him at the start of the film, there seems to be an underlying reason as to why he is so disturbed; is it the loss of his father, or maybe something more?
Amelia reads to Samuel every night, who regularly has night terrors and ends up sleeping in her bed. However, one night, this routine takes a turn for the worse. Sam brings out a large red book entitled “The Babadook”, and after skimming through the pages and realising the darkness and terror within this ‘child’s’ book, Amelia insists that they do not read it, but Sam ensures they do. From here onwards, the terror for this small and recluse family unfolds and the words that they firs tread ironically follow them throughout the rest of the film; “If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of The Babadook!”
Ready yourselves for a tense and chilling film with frightening scenes, disturbing character twists and a story that will make you double-check every single book your little one reads!
Jennifer Kent’s ‘The Babadook’ is scary and smart but also, not over cooked, which is rare for a horror film these days! Unlike Insidious (2010) which had great potential and then threw it away towards the end, showing us the monster which appeared very comical, and was not needed, The Babadook shows us very little, which is what makes the tale even more chilling for the viewer.
Unfortunately, much like Insidious, and any other hit film lately, I do fear that we could witness a Babadook sequel/prequel which personally, is not necessary and would once again take a lot away from a decent horror. Once again – Leave the original alone! J
Recommendation: A Friday night rental with snacks and a much-needed pillow or duvet to shield the eyes! If you’re a big horror fan, definitely worth adding this to your ‘good 2010s horrors’ – it might be a little bit empty after all.