The Babadook

The Babadook is a 2014 Australian supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent in her directorial debut,and produced by Kristina Ceyton and Kristian Molière. The film stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, and Ben Winspear. It is based on the 2005 short film Monster, also written and directed by Kent.

Amelia is a still grieving widow with a 6 year old son named Samuel, who is slightly troubled.  Her late husband, Oskar, was killed in a car accident that occurred as he drove Amelia to the hospital during her labour. Samuel starts to begin to show erractic behaviour like insomnia and claiming to see a monster against which he builds inventive weapons. An exhaused Amelia, who works in an institute that takes care of elderly people, gets upset when the school confiscates one of Sam’s weapons, a crossbow type thing. One night, Sam asks his mother to read a pop-up storybook called Mister Babadook. It describes the titular monster, the Babadook, a tall pale-faced humanoid in a top hat with taloned fingers who torments its victims after they become aware of its existence. Amelia is disturbed by the book and its mysterious appearance, while Sam becomes convinced that the Babadook is real. Sam’s persistence about the Babadook leads Amelia to often have sleepless nights as she tries to comfort him.

Soon after, strange events occur: doors open and close mysteriously by themselves, strange sounds are heard and Amelia finds glass shards in her food. She attributes the events to Sam’s behaviour, but he blames the Babadook. Amelia rips up the book and disposes of it. At her birthday party, Sam’s cousin Ruby bullies Sam for not having a father, in response to which he pushes her out of her tree house and breaks her nose in two places. Amelia’s sister Claire admits she cannot bear Sam to which Amelia takes great offence. On the drive home, Sam has another vision of the Babadook and suffers a febrile seizure, after which Amelia makes a successful plea for sedatives to a pediatrician. The next morning the Babadook book appears at her door reassembled and new words taunt her.

The words and images imply that she will kill their dog and Sam by breaking their necks before killing herself. Terrified, Amelia burns the book and runs to the police after a disturbing phone call. However, Amelia has no proof of the stalking, and when she then sees the Babadook’s suit hung up behind the front desk, she leaves. Amelia starts to become more isolated and shut-in, being more impatient, shouting at Samuel for ‘disobeying’ her constantly, and having frequent visions of the Babadook once again. Her mental state slowly decays further and she exhibits erratic and violent behaviour, including severing the phone line with a knife and brandishing it aggressively at Sam seemingly without realising. This mental decline culminates in several disturbing hallucinations, most of which involve the violent murder of Sam with herself as the willing perpetrator.

She then sees a vision of her dead husband and is happy initially until it asks her to bring the boy to him. Babadook then chases her and finally possess her and Amelia goes to get Sam but he evades her and uses his weapons against her, knocking her out and then tying her. hen she tries to strangle him, he lovingly caresses her face, causing her to throw up an inky black substance, an action which seemingly expels the Babadook. Amelia saves Sam and after another vision of her husband’s death, she furiously confronts the entity which is forced to retreat to the basement. She locks it in there and soon she and Sam recovers and begins life again. Amelia is attentive and caring toward him, encouraging him with the weapons he makes and being impressed at Sam’s magic tricks.

As they movie ends they gather earthworms in a bowl and Amelia takes them to the basement, where the Babadook resides. She places the bowl on the floor for the Babadook to eat. However, as the beast tries to attack her, Amelia calms it down, and it retreats to the corner taking the earthworms along with it. Amelia returns to the yard to celebrate Sam’s birthday.

The film’s theme is basically grief, not grieving and mourning fully and repressing it so much that it takes a dark form inside of you. The film is slow to build and I even found it a bit boring for about 30 minutes, plus the kid really is annoying for most of the duration but the last 30 minutes or so is quite intense. 7 outta 10!

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