The Babadook (2014) Film Review

the_babadook_matt_nettheim

Firstly, I would like to state that I was extremely proud of myself for watching this at night. I’m not great with horror (even though both the folks I watched it with say that it is not really horror – what was probably more horrifying was having to put up with me shrieking about how much is was scaring me. Note to everyone – if you want to enjoy a horror film, don’t watch it with me).

So, The Babadook is a fabulous Australian film from last year about a single mum, Amelia (Essie Davis) struggling with a child, Samuel (Noah Wiseman) who has behavioural problems that mostly stem from his fear of monsters in the house. This all compounds when a mysterious book, The Babadook, appears, and Amelia starts to feel the fear too. She is estranged from her sister, Claire (Hayley McElhinney) who thinks that, after seven years, Amelia needs to get over the death of her husband. With limited contact to the outside world, Amelia and Samuel need to work together to deal with their devils.

Despite my screaming, discomfort and the need to research theories about the film midway through (no, I would not have been googling in a cinema, but in a lounge room? Sure), I really enjoyed the film. Both Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman were fantastic in the lead roles, and the house was designed and shot in a way that it became a whole extra character. Some of the effects were a bit average, but that didn’t take away from the fear for me.

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