Monday, 2 March 2015

The Babadook: Wow!

2nd March, 2015.

OK …  

Do you believe the hype?

No, that’s a fairly honest question, there.

Do you believe that, if you hear something getting talked about — very favourably — that it’s something you should have a look at?

Or are you, like me, who’s prepared to take the hype with a pinch or two of salt?

I think that, at my age, a pinch of salt is usually worth having.

Sometimes, though … ?

Sometimes, it turns out favourable hype — or favourable word-of-mouth — turns out to be justified.

The film I’ve just sat and watched, tonight?

Was the 2014, Jennifer Kent directed film, The Babadook.

And yes … 

Wow’ is justified.   I think we can believe the hype about The Babadook.


Set in modern-day Australia, The Babadook sees Essie Davies as Amelia, a single mother who has been traumatised, after the death of her husband, some six years earlier: as he was driving her to the hospital to give birth to their son, Samuel, played by Noah Wiseman.

Sam, of course, is DEEPLY traumatised: making and using improvised weapons, having problems at school AND imagining monsters of a particularly vicious sort.

And talking of nothing but, to friends and family.

That’s not the worst of it: things at home are worse.

Especially after Sam finds a mysterious pop-up book on his shelves, called Mister Babadook on his shelves.

And talks his mother into reading it to him as a bedtime story.

Things …

Go … 

Slowly … 

Downhill … 


Now … Wow … ?



And that’s not a word I use, a lot.

You see, there’s not that many films I wax lyrical about.   There’s plenty I give a four star rating to — The Babadook will be one of them — but not many I stick the word ‘genius’ too.

There’s even fewer films I text my friends about … while I’m watching the film.

Even less that — with the exception of The Awakening and Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead — that I call beautiful.

The Babadook is one of the latter, beautiful films.

The Babadook is not your run-of-the-mill, body-horror.

The Babadook is not torture porn.

The Babadook is certainly not blood soaked.

Nor is it a slaughter-laden, splatter punk flick: nor any kind of teen-killing slasher film intent on shocking the bejeebers out of an audience UNDER the age of consent, and teaching them sex is bad.

Oh, no.

The Babadook is a horror film that’s intent on — right from the start — piling one single, slow, nerve-jangling moment after another: and not stopping until it’s deeply ambiguous — and simultaneously quite clear — ending.

Reminding  ALL of us that humanity is capable of scaring the life out of itself.

That humans are, sometimes, their own worst enemies.

And that, truly?

Truly, you can’t get rid of … The Babadook
The Babadook


1 comment:

Nik Nak said...


Just as a final thought … ?

Those of us who’ve SEEN The Babadook will realise that the Babadook is Amelia’s own subconscious demon: it’s literally why, at the end of the film, she hasn’t got rid of the Babadook: merely learnt how to deal with it.

A friend of mine, Faye, watched it, last night: and asked me a question I’d given little thought to, until she asked me this.

“Where did the book come from?”

My personal thought?

And something I told her?

It’s homemade … …