Movie #209 2020: The Babadook (2014)

Not reviewed a good horror film here in a while at TQR so why not go back a few year to the movie that unexpectedly took us by storm?

The Babadook looks at the life of a single mother who is taking care of her son Samuel in the creepiest house in the world. After his father dies and they live alone, a book mysteriously appears on the shelf and Samuel demands that his mother read it to him. Titled ‘Mr. Babadook’, it features terrifying pop up pictures of a charcoal black figure who promises to come and get them………… You can fill in the rest of the blanks after that.

Possibly one of the best horror films I’ve seen this year, The Babadook should be used as a lesson in cinematic tension-building. The fact that this was achieved on a $2 million budget is extremely admirable, and lady director (yay!) Jennifer Kent captures fear so very well in every single frame. Even the well-lit scenes are insanely intense.

Though it’s fairly obvious where the plot is going throughout, I didn’t really care. Other than Scream and Hereditary, I can’t really think of any horror films that are known for their riveting plot twists, so it’s not like we were expecting that box to be ticked. However, even though the book that is read in the early stages of the movie basically lays out what is going to happen, having such knowledge only keeps you peeping through you fingers even more as you know what’s coming.

Speaking of Hereditary, Essie Davis is bordering on Toni Collette levels of brilliance here. Really good performance from her. Her son – played by Noah Wiseman – is god damn annoying for 80 per cent of the movie too, but I guess that was the point. He plays his role here with a real maturity that is hard to find in young children, so extra points go to the casting director too.

A 90 minute wonder! We need more of these. Some horror movies go on and on and on, but this one knows where to end. If anything, the editing in The Babadook was superior to that of The Invisible Man, which seemed to drag itself over the finish line by the end. (I did like that movie though just for the record.)

Sure, the ending is a little hokey but this movie is gripping from start to finish. Give it a go… if you dare.

Honestly, don’t watch this alone in the dark.

The Babadook is available to rent on Amazon for A MERE 99p!

TQR Category Ratings:

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