Director: Jennifer Kent
Writer: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear
Studio: IFC Midnight
“The Babadook” first gained my attention when I heard it was raising funds on Kickstarter. Naturally, I wrote it off during my screw crowdfunding phase, but I recently got the chance to check it out. When I saw the film, I realized that I was watching a widow break down, as her child just wants a story read for bedtime. This chick can barely hold together and it’s the kid’s birthday. The book is revealed to be this Gorey style piece where it details how the kid is going to die. Eventually, we realized that the titular Babadook is real and these people are going to kick the bucket.
British Horror has taken some weird turns in recent years. While I dig what I’ve seen from Neil Marshall and Ben Wheatley, there’s been a far amount that doesn’t connect. What works about this movie isn’t the horror elements, but the terror of being a single mother. The mother knows that this kid acting out can cause child services to take him away at a moment’s notice. Knowing that the kid is the only connection she has to a former life, she’s willing to alienate everyone else to keep him in her loving arms.
The last half of the film gets so bleak that it might scare off some viewers. That being said, I say stay with it if you can find it. There was a time when horror used to try and break out of the creature and slasher mode. Unfortunately, the use of the Supernatural here might leave viewers wanting more. They are dumb and you should ignore them. Check out “The Babadook” right now on DirectTV. If you don’t have the best satellite TV service going, then you’re going to wait a bit.
Release Date: November 28, 2014 (Theatrical and VOD); October 30 (DirectTV)