The Babadook (2014)…An Old School Horror Movie That Lives Up to the Hype

Six times…

It’s been a week since I discovered The Babadook, and I have already seen it six times…and  I’ve pre-ordered the BluRay.

Why?

Simply put, because The Babadook is, inarguably, the absolute best horror movie of the year. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll want to do that as soon as possible, and then clear that schedule cause you’ll want to see it again.

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Although the title may sound a little silly (or at least it did to me), The Babadook is a dark, tense little tale about a gentle young widow and her monster obsessed little boy, who become the tormented victims of a strange creature known only as the Babadook. What the Babadook really is, is up to us to speculate upon and imagine, all we know is what is written in a mysterious red book that inexplicably appears in the child’s room one night.

The creature, according to the book, is a tall being, shrouded in black, which looks very much like a man in a top hat and tails. That doesn’t sound frightening, you say? Just you wait.

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Starring Essie Davis as the broken, vulnerable Amelia and Noah Wiseman as her adorable, yet simultaneous irritating as fuck, son Samuel (omg did I ever wanna smack that kid in certain scenes…believe me you will know which ones), the movie rests firmly on the shoulders of these two performers. Although Davis is the undisputed star here, both mother and son are portrayed with such raw brilliance that I for one had no trouble believing in the authenticity of their feelings for one another. Like any family can relate to, their life seems to consist of a series of patterns that never end. The boy clings, the woman pulls back and vice versa; they are devoted to one another and then just as quickly, their eyes can barely stand to meet. This is a mother and son who love one another deeply, but are so damaged by circumstance that they are also, essentially, each other’s worst enemy. It’s absolutely riveting to watch.

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And that’s before the titular creature ever makes an appearance.

And leading lady Essie Davis…wow…no really, just wow. IMDB tells me she was in a bunch of TV dramas (I don’t watch dramas) and also starred in the Matrix 2 and 3 (due to their overwhelming suckage I have repressed the memory of those movies), so I’ve never seen her before, but goddamn does she make an impression…in fact, I think I may check out one or two of her dramas.

I think people who know me well just went into apoplectic shock from that little admission.

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Ahem, anyway, director Jennifer Kent does a phenomenal job turning the every day life of parent and child into a nightmare, utilizing color, light and shadows to prey on our fears with no special effects to speak of. Her style is crisp, her images tight and minimalist, and despite this being her first feature film, there is a level of focus and accomplishment here that is typical of far more seasoned directors. My only request of Ms. Kent…make more and I will totally be your second best friend for life!

Goddamn this movie is awesome and every single second is…perfect.

Fuck! Do you know how rare it is to find a perfect horror movie? Lemme tell you…really fucking rare. More than that. more than just being a perfect horror film, The Babadook is actually the best movie I’ve see this year. If there’s any cinematic justice, Essie Davis will win every acting award on Earth. Yes, every single one. Disagree? Well then you haven’t seen the movie; go ahead, I’ll wait.

Still disagree? Well, there’s no accounting for taste…but you’re wrong, go see it again, maybe you were watching the wrong movie.

I realize I’m being rather over-emphatic about this, but The Babadook really is something to get excited about.

And I think I’ll stop there. No spoilers, no more description, nothing at all. I knew next to nothing about this movie before my first viewing, and it was just so fucking awesome discovering this movie minute by minute, scene by scene, that I refuse to ruin it for anyone…even though I really reeeeeeaaallly wanna talk about it. But I won’t…

For fuck’s sake, someone I know see this movie already so I can talk about it!!!

Ummm, and by that I mean, Happy Viewing Horror Fans!

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