Written by guest contributor Cameron Gallagher
It’s rare that an independent horror film has enough traction to be considered one of the scariest films pf all time, and terrifying by the director of “The Exorcist”. But what is even more rare is a horror film with such traction that actually delivers on many levels, and The Babadook did this 100%! I consider myself a “Horror Fanatic” as well as “Horror Analyst” (sounds comical right?). But in all seriousness, I really like to break down horror films and try to find the best of the best. Films like The Conjuring and basically anything by James Wan has impressed me, but recently I have been very disappointed with horror films (other than the ones I mentioned) because they fail to have another plot within the horror film. Other than the “lets scare the crap out of you” plot (which isn’t even a plot). The Babadook succeeded incredibly in its attack at telling a disturbing story of a single mother with a troubled kid, and that is what makes this film so uncomfortable. It’s so believable and incredibly troubling.
The Babadook follows the story I just told you, but after the troubled kid finds a strange book telling the story of The Babadook, things around the house become even stranger. This movie has some incredible cinematography. Just very clever lighting and camera work to create suspense and unease during the film, but never once did it seem to overpower any part of the story, where it seemed too over the top or strange.
Let’s talk about The Babadook itself. Now this film was originally marketed as a “Creature Feature” but if your quick to look past it, you’ll end up with the same feeling after watching The Village (no, not that bad) but remember, although this is a horror about a creature, that is not the main point of the story. This is the story about the pain and suffering a family has when losing a loved one (father and husband in this case) Now with that being said, The Babadook is real! Make no mistake, this isn’t some M. Night fake out crap, but just remember that this is deeper than what it seems.
Let’s talk about the creature itself. It is quite honestly terrifying. It could be the scariest character and creature in cinema history. I just wish there was more of it. Granted, it was the perfect amount for the film, but it was terrifying. The Babadook was so surreal in the sense of its nature, body type, and even wardrobe. It had an almost fantasy vibe to it, but was the sound it made is by far the scariest sound any creature has ever made. If I ever answered the phone and heard “Ba-Ba-dook…DOok…DOOK!!” I would literally shit my pants!
This movie hit all of the high points for me, and even though the ending was weird and felt a little off in the scheme of things, I think it fit the way the film needed to end, and that’s why I give The Babadook a well-deserved 4/5. If that ending was a little better, and maybe a few scarier moments it would be a 5/5 for sure! Please go check it out and tell me what you think!
P.S. Buy the Cool Pop-Up Cover Blu-Ray Edition…it is an awesome movie, but the case is spectacular!
The Babadook Director: Jennifer Kent Writer: Jennifer Kent Studio: IFC Films/ Entertainment One Running Time: 94 Minutes Release Date: 1/17/14