The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook is an intensely creepy film surrounding single mother Amelia (Essie Davis) and her troubled son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). After losing her husband on the way to the hospital to give birth to their son 6 years prior, Amelia is still finding it hard to love the son that cost her the love of her life. Of course, Samuel doesn’t help the matter by being a disobedient, aggressive, annoying, and overall weird child that is no longer welcome in public schools. Samuel is obsessed with monsters and protecting people from the dangers they pose. Of course, everybody knows monsters aren’t real and Amelia is becoming alienated from her friends and family because Samuel’s obsession is becoming out of control. Things take a turn when Samuel finds a book on the shelf that he has his mom read to him before bedtime. The red bound, children’s pop-up book looks like it would be delightful if it weren’t for the black creature inside peeking from behind doors, growing in size, and spouting menacing words. From there the horror unfolds with The Babadook’s presence going from subtle to terrifying.

Hat’s off to Writer and Director Jennifer Kent for this creepy emotional rollercoaster of a movie. She painted the perfect picture of an overly-stressed, sleep deprived mother who’s unraveling at every turn. You are drawn in and sympathize with Amelia every time she is judged by her sister, you feel her shame when her well-meaning coworker tries to help her out, and your heart aches with hers every time her monster of a child acts out. While I secretly wanted bad things to happen to Samuel, Noah Wiseman’s portrayal of this character was beyond believable and so well done I found it hard to believe that the actor was only 6. This kid will be someone to watch out for in the future. To continue with the roller coaster of emotions, the sympathy shifts quickly from mother to son when you realize just how unloved this fatherless kid feels. He’s never celebrated a birthday on his birthday, his mother is unaffectionate, and all he wants is to love and protect her.

I’d like to think that The Babadook represents a manifestation of the problems we deal with in our lives, and how we handle them. If we ignore them they manifest into something uncontrollable, but if we face them head on we can manage them. You must keep in mind though that they are ever present under the surface. “You can’t get rid of The Babadook”.

Scream Queen

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