Rapid Review: The Babadook (2014)

the-babadook-poster

“You can bring me the boy.”
– The Babadook

SYNOPSIS: A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. – via IMDB

the babadook book

GRADE 8Well, well, well. I know that I have been waiting for this since Tim reviewed it over on his site in May. It piqued my interest, so I wanted to know. Naturally, soon everyone was watching it and the consensus came back that it was brilliant. I had to know. The last good horror film we got was The Conjuring, and that was the first good one in a hell of a long time. The Babadook was excellent for me in the sense that it told a story, and did not get too wrapped up in the monster. It focused on Amelia and Samuel, and things progressively get creepier from there. The atmosphere is fantastic here, seeing as the house that the family is living in is already a flat and depressing space, and Sam is definitely a bit of a problem child for his mother and school, and the way that Amelia pulls away from him is odd to see in a mother, though understandable when more of the back story is revealed. It is as though she loves him because she is duty bound to do so, not because she genuinely adores her son. She has never dealt with her husband’s passing. Both should seriously have gone for counselling ages ago, but evidently it was not very high up on anyone’s list. You never actually get a handle on Amelia’s depression, and what is real and what is not. Anyway, the movie starts simply enough and progressively moves away from comfort and usual days on to something a little darker – and then this absolutely terrifying book makes its way into the home, and damn, it is a creepy one. I want one. Now. To add to my collection of books. It was so messed up and so awesome. I thought the movie was shot fantastically and looked wonderful, and the fact that there was not an overkill of focus on the babadook was refreshing for me. I am big on a concept of something, but so many movies lose it when it gets to the monster. The Babadook does not suffer from this whatsoever seeing as you get to see the babadook from time to time, but never too much, but when it is there? The darn chills! One thing that really got me was the voice. If you have seen this, you will know what I am talking about. Heebeejeebees I tell you. I really liked the concept of the babadook as a monster, too. The cast worked wonderfully with their material, and it was some solid work from all of them, which lent more credence to this. I thoroughly enjoyed that the movie did not evoke fear using cheap jump scares, but crafted a deeper and more unsettling film to work through. It’s smart, it’s scary, it’s unnerving, has been directed exceptionally well and it’s worth the hype and the watch, in my opinion. Good horror movies don’t come around very often anymore. This is just another instance that demonstrates that you don’t need a massive budget to make a flick work, and you also don’t need to squander the whole flick on CGI and silliness. If you haven’t seen it, go, now. Stop wasting time!

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45 thoughts on “Rapid Review: The Babadook (2014)

  1. snapcracklewatch says:

    Now this just looks way to scary. After hearing all of you people saying this movie freaked you out and you guys never get freaked out… I am seriously hesitant. I almost watched it the other, I mean literally almost, it was right there and I chickened out. hahaha Don’t make fun remember I am in the crybaby club.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. robbinsrealm says:

    Well written, concise review!

    I keep reading mainly very positive blogs regarding this film. The consensus seems to be, that it is an excellent psychological horror film, that features great performances from its two main protagonists.
    I am really looking forward to seeing the film. I agree with you, that so many recent horror films, that I had high expectations for, turned out to fall somewhere between poor to mediocre. I am glad that you equated this film, in your blog with “The Conjuring,” which was definitely my favorite horror film from the previous year.

    From everything I have read in blogs about the film, it seems as if Kent takes realistic problems, that families, very sadly, sometimes have to face, and mixes in elements of mind games, pertaining to what is real and what is a manifestation of the fragile psyche of a woman, who never got over the death of her husband, as well as having to deal with a disturbed child.

    From what you wrote, the less is more approach, that the director took showing The Babadook on screen, seems to have been the right one to take; making the appearance of it, even more effective, when it was on screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Jonathan!

      I do hope that you enjoy this when you get to it.

      I honestly think that’s why it was successful. It has solid performances and real issues that balance everything out just perfectly. I usually prefer the less is more approach, it usually means they focus on story and performance more than CGI and the monster and what not. Kent did a great job, and I will certainly be looking forward to seeing more of her work in future!

      Like

  3. Lights Camera Reaction says:

    Maybe its just me, but I can’t see what everyone seems to like about this film haha – I thought it was rubbish. I love horror films but I didn’t find it scary at all and thought the last act really dragged.
    Still, the design of the book was beautifully detailed.

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it more. I think I enjoyed the psychology behind it a hell of a lot, which gave rise to the babadook and the issues being a little more creepy! That book was beautiful though 🙂

      Like

  4. caragale says:

    OH MY GOD I WOULD SEE IT IF I COULD BUT THE WORLD IS AGAINST ME!!!!!!!! …I’m sorry. I’m…I’m just very sad. 😥 I have not wanted to see a movie this badly in awhile. I need to stop reading reviews of this because it hurts…but good job. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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