Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Babadook

"If it's in a word or it's in a book, you can never escape The Babadook"

The Babadook is a psychological thriller released late November in 2014. Directed by Jennifer Kent, this film follows a mother (Essie Davis) and her young boy (Noah Wiseman) as they are terrorized by a monster known as the Babadook. Essie Davis plays a single mother, named Amelia, who tragically lost her husband and is trying to raise her son as he begins displaying more and more sporadic behavior.

One of the strongest aspects of this movie is the symbolism behind the monster the Babadook and what he represents. The Babadook is a physical representation of grief and how, if one does not come to terms with grief, it will eat away at them. When I first watched the film it was difficult for me to pick up on this symbolism; however, at the end of the film there is a scene that make it very apparent. It is not until our main character Amelia accepts that the Babadook will never go away, or that grief will never go away, that the monster stops attacking her. Amelia is then seen feeding worms to the monster, or feeding into and acknowledging the grief she has for the loss of her husband, that she is able to move on with her life.

There are few aspects of this film that I have a problem with. The Babadook is introduced through a children's flip-book that is, one day, randomly found in the families basement. While having a basement leading to horror aspects in a film is incredibly cliché, the art design of this flip-book was amazing.

Every scene that contained this book left me feeling creeped out and uncomfortable. My only complaint is that the monster was not nearly as frightening as the monster in the book. The Babadook is merely a tall man in all black with some white face paint and silver contact lenses. Also the same effects used in all horror movies to create tension and panic are used in this film: quick cuts, shaky camera operation, and dark lighting.

Overall, while I did not find this film to be that frightening I did enjoy watching it. I think that it was well shot, well written and had strong underlying symbolism. If I had to give it a rating I would give it a 7/10 and would recommend giving it a chance.

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