THE BABADOOK is a film that I’ve been following very closely for the last few months. It appeared out nowhere and left its mark on anyone who has seen it. Playing at festivals and constantly gaining a huge cult following wherever it played. It left people speechless . I ain’t heard reviews like this for a horror movie in such a long time, so as you can imagine this is one I’ve been really looking forward to.
I was also under the impression that this was a kids movie, so i’ll start by putting that rumor to bed, I don’t think this is a kids movie (I’m still not sure). If it is, then it’s scariest kids film I’ve seen in my life. If you have a child and you let he/she watch this and they make it through the film, they are pretty fucking hardcore. I knew before going in that it wasn’t going to be that gruesome, but i liked that, i’m not always about the blood & guts. I do like me a damn good creepy ghost story. I was expecting it to be a 12 Rating but was pleasantly surprised that it was a 15 (Irish Film Cert) .
so the story is quite straight forward and i’ll not go into it that much. A mother and her kid live in quite a large run-down house by themselves. she is a single parent still grieving the tragic loss of her husband, and the kid is trying to cope with the loss of his father. You can see from the start that pressure is mounting, the mother is tired, the kid is hard work, as can be expected. The son then finds a mysterious kids book called Mister Babadook. An unusual dark red, hard-backed book, with no author or description, just black lettering saying “Mister Babadook”. As you’ve probably seen from the trailer, the book is pretty fucking creepy. Full of creepy rhymes ( “if it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook”), full of pop-up drawings of some mysterious dark figure with claws, a cloak and a top-hat that would sort of remind you of a Victorian Jack the Ripper type figure, but only…. He lives in your bedroom. Even writing about this now is making every hair on my body stand-up.
It’s like writer/director Jennifer Kent took every child’s worst fears (something that we all used to fear – except me cause I’m fucking hardcore) she successfully added that adult element, nailing the fact that, it ain’t only kids who are scared of monsters in the bedroom. The son asks his mother to read him the book (BIG MISTAKE) and a load of creepy supernatural stuff starts to happen. Its hard to explain what happens without giving away too much so I’ll just leave it at that.
The movie was also shot on a rather small budget. Just goes to show what can be done if you have the right person for the job. Writer/director Jennifer Kent has achieved something very special here. She wrote a horror story that both kids and adults can relate to. In my opinon, this is horror at it’s finest. She is living proof that horror can still scare the living shit out of you.