The Babadook: Review by Holly Bareham

The Babadook

This review is incredibly late because I have been going to the cinema a lot lately due to the fact that a Cineworld was built in my town and I decided it would be a good idea to invest in a Cineworld Unlimited Card.

I did not see any advertising for this film at all. The only way I found out about it was in Film when we were supposed to be studying for our ‘Small Scale Research Projects’ and I decided to Google horror films coming out in 2014 (I was doing horror movies for my small scale research project so I guess it was relevant) and found an imdb page for it. Me and my friend watched the trailer and decided we should go and see it.

The basic plot of the film is that a single mother, Amelia, is plagued by the death of her husband while dealing with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house. Her son, Samuel, wakes her up nearly every night with fears of monsters and she has to read to him. One night he brings down a book called ‘Mr Babadook’ which shocks and scares both of them. Soon, Amelia can feel a sinister presence all around her.

My favourite thing about this film is actually a little sad because I really liked that all the sound was diegetic yet it still managed to build up a creepy atmosphere. I will say it straightaway though, if you’re looking for a film that relies on the conventional scares of a horror movie then this film is not for you. I definitely get a ‘we-could-study-this-film-in-class’ vibe. I really enjoyed it though. Probably one of the best horror films I’ve seen this year.

There was something about the Babadook itself that terrified me. A lot of the time I was hiding behind my hands because I was absolutely terrified and refused to turn in my seat away from my friend, even though it was making my neck and back ache. Saying that, I was hiding behind my hands unable to look at the screen so I looked at my friend who was looking at the screen with a straight face and then began to yawn. Maybe I’m a bigger wimp than I thought?

Sam and Dean gif

The acting was also absolutely superb, especially from Noah Wiseman who played Samuel. I honestly thought this was an amazing film from start to finish. It’s one of those films where you have to think about the deeper meaning behind pretty much everything. This is probably the scariest horror film I’ve seen this year and I’m not even sure why. It just absolutely terrified me. When you’ve watched a lot of horror films you can start to shrug them off. You leave the theatre and you forget about it. This one had me up the night after I’d first watched it and continued to scare me for an entire week before I could eventually shrug it off.

I only had one problem with the film and it’s the fact that I can’t figure out the tagline – “if it’s in a word or it’s in a look you can’t get rid of the Babadook.’ I thought it would make more sense after watching it but I still don’t get it. If someone else got the meaning behind that then please message me and just inform me!
Overall, I’d recommend this film to anyone who can look for the deeper meaning in a film. If you’re someone that only really enjoys horror movies for the clichés and jump scares then it’s probably not for you.


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