THE BABADOOK #4 TOP INDIE FILM 2014

3/6/15
The Babadook

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

It’s a low-budget, oddly titled horror flick that relied on psychological terror rather than gore and predictable jump scares. “The Babadook” may not be the most original horror movie out there as it barrowed a lot of elements from ‘Poltergeist’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘A Nightmare at Elm Street’ and ‘The Conjuring’ among others but this unassuming Australian horror film is one of the most effective of its kind to come out of this tired genre or even one of the best under the radar movies ever because it utilized mood, familiar human emotions and acting to its advantage.

Who can’t relate to a struggling widow who, after all these years, is still reeling from the loss of her husband from a horrific car accident while she’s on labor? And not only that, she needs to raise her troubled son who throws tantrums constantly, assaults other children and worse, sees monsters in their cavernous house.

 

THE BABADOOK - TRAILER

It is a very relatable human suffering and Essie Davis who plays the widow Amelia conveys the horrors of being engulfed by negative emotions and unfavorable circumstances effectively to a point of being scary. Noah Wiseman, as her unbearable seven-year-old son Sam, complements her portrayal really well. You can feel that she loves him very much but his very existence is pushing her to the brink of madness—slowly eating her alive from the inside.

Which begs the question: Were the terrors in the confines of their unbearably claustrophobic house initiated by the demon Mr. Babadook? Or were they just the collective products of their troubled minds? We will never know. This movie keeps the viewers involved by providing an open ended storyline and you'll most likely find yourself connecting the dots just to satisfy your craving for explanation.

 

THE BABADOOK - POSSESSION SCENE

In the end, “The Babadook” succeeds not because it has an invincible villain with a myriad of creative kills in its bag of bloody tricks but because the situations presented in the film can happen to anyone. The human psyche is precious but has a tendency to snap especially if it’s constantly pushed too far. I like the fact that “The Babadook” walks a thin line between a ghost/monster story and paranoia. It's in this delicate dance that makes it even more frightening.

 

Synopsis
It’s been six years since the death of her husband but Amelia (Essie Davis) is still struggling to keep it together. It’s bad enough that she needs to take care of her out of control son Sam (Noah Wiseman) alone; it’s another to convince him that the monster he sees in his dreams who he believes is out to kill them both is not real. But then a twisted storybook entitled ‘The Babaddok’ turns up at their house one day and made matters worse. Sam becomes even more unpredictable and violent as he is now convinced that the monster that he’s been dreaming about is the ‘Babadook’. Frightened by what she sees, Amelia decides to medicate Sam. Soon enough, she starts to sense and see glimpses of evil in her house and so she begins to wonder whether or not the monster that Sam was warning her about may be real all along.