A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Brilliant movie. A dark exploration of grief, guilt, and parenting with an intelligent script that taps into our childhood fear of monsters in the dark. Essie Davis, who plays Amelia, the mother of Samuel (Noah Wiseman) is excellent as she descends into her nightmare. Noah Wiseman is astounding as the son who starts to “see” monsters in the house after his mother reads him the story of The Babadook. The tension increases inexorably but never goes too far. The director (Jennifer Kent, who also wrote the script), never succumbs to the temptation to merely cause the viewer to jump by using cheap tricks. Instead, the character and story development is what’s most important. The same goes for any “special effects” – they’re subtle and effective – what we can’t see is often more frightening than what we can. The story is original and complex and provides rich material for reflecting on what people go through when they feel responsible for bad things happening to those they love. THE BABADOOK is a clever, riveting, disturbing movie – and highly recommended if you like intelligent psychological thrillers.