The Babadook

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The Babadook Overview

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.

Who Stars in The Babadook

Essie Davis
Amelia Vanek

Essie Davis

Noah Wiseman
Samuel Vanek

Noah Wiseman

Hayley McElhinney
Claire

Hayley McElhinney

Daniel Henshall
Robbie

Daniel Henshall

Barbara West
Gracie Roach

Barbara West

Benjamin Winspear
Oskar Vanek

Benjamin Winspear


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Review for The Babadook

Author: John Chard

Ba Ba-Ba Dook! Dook! Dook! The Babadook is written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall and Hayley McElhinney. Music is by Jed Kurzel and cinematography by Radek Ladczuk. Amelia is a single mother still haunted by the violent death of her husband, she is trying to deal with her young son Samuel's fear of a monster in the house. Initially tolerating it as a flight of fancy, the arrival of a book in the youngster's bedroom called Mr. Babadook, signals the start of a sinister presence that she herself can begin to fear as well. Australia has been producing some great horror films in the last couple of decades, The Babadook is one of the best of the bunch. Jennifer Kent made it as a 10 minute short back in 2005 called Monster, itself a super piece of horror film making, now in full feature length form (Kent’s first), the vision and intelligence explodes off the screen in every frame. The premise at the core is not exactly fresh, but Kent manages to make The Babadook its own entity, skilfully steering away from formula jolts and terrors. Which in this day and age of horror retreads, sequel frenzies and blood for blood’s sake, is most refreshing. This is a big character piece, a two hander of incredible emotional power, a mother and son dealing with their own demons before the eponymous Babadook enters the fray. We care about this pair of troubled souls, so much so that as we start to feel the dread, get the tingles down the spine, our hearts are also aching for them. The two performances of the actors quite simply magnificent. Mr. Babadook is a pop-up picture book that suddenly arrives into their lives. The creature is a sort of cross between a German expressionistic nightmare and Jack the Ripper. The book itself is creepy enough in its own right, more so as it starts to take on a more terrifying tone – and Amelia proves unsuccessful at getting rid of the thing – the picture starts playing its ace psychological cards. The monster is kept mostly to the edges of the frames, or just popping up for a quick glance in unexpected places, this is a great move and suits the narrative perfectly. The tech credits are top notch. A key aspect to getting the most out of The Babadook is to make sure the sound is loud, for the sound mix is tremendous and can bring pounds of gooseflesh rising up on your arms. Ladczuk’s photography is at one with the themes pulsing away in the story, the colours paled and cheerless, enhancing the fractured psyches of mother and son, but Mr. Babadook is a jet black presence in this landscape. All told the art design from the book to the house and the creature is excellent. Umbrella’s Australian All Region Blu-ray Release has a super transfer and does justice to the sound mix. There’s over an hour of interviews, which are a mixed bag of informative chat and back slapping, a 12 minute behind the scenes making of and some trailers. The bonus is the 10 minute short, Monster, The Babadook in its infancy but no less scary for it. The Babadook is a superlative horror film for adults, like when Polanski met Kubrick and they decided to pay homage to Fritz Lang and George Melies. Yes it’s that good. 10/10


Images related to The Babadook

Production


Screen Australia

Smoking Gun Productions

Causeway Films


South Australian Film Corporation


Facts

Status
Released

Release Date
2014-05-22

Original Language
English

Runtime
1 hr 33 mins

Budget
$ 2,000,000.00 (Estimated)

Revenue
$ 6,676,471.00 (USA)

Profit
$ 4,676,471.00 (Estimated in USA)

Homepage
http://thebabadook.com/

Genres
Drama Thriller Horror

Keywords
parent child relationship monster nightmare book dysfunctional family single mother psychological horror psychological drama grieving woman director death of spouse self delusion self created problems behavioral disorders sleeplessness


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