The Babadook - Five Reasons You'll Love It
Australian horror film The Babadook, which received its debut at the Sundance Film Festival earlier on this year, arrives in cinemas this Friday (October 24th). The film follows a woman and her son who are both haunted by Mister Babadook, a phantom straight from the pages of a mysterious children’s pop-up book.
We peeped through our fingers at an early screening and here are five reasons why you’ll love it.
Jennifer Kent is one to watch...
The Babadook marks the feature debut of Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent, but you wouldn’t know it from watching it. Kent has crafted an effective chiller which many directors would aspire at least once in their entire career. One thing’s for sure: all eyes will be in on Kent for her follow-up project – which she has reportedly claimed will not be a horror. Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman as bereaved mother and son Amelia and Samuel are also to be commended for two extremely raw performances that are rarely present in films designed to chill.
This is a very original take on horror...
It’s a slow time for influential horror, save for a few up-and-coming talents unafraid to be bound by genre convention (Ti West, Adam Wingard, etc.). The Babadook is a highly-original offering which refuses to resort to the tropes commonly associated with horror – a refreshing thought amid the onslaught of horror remakes thrown our way.
It’s creepy as hell...
An unsettling tone prevails throughout the film’s running time heightened by Kent’s refusal to use editing or sound to exploit scares in the way audiences have come to expect. Ironically, it’s this tactic which generates the scares, alongside the notion that the film is actually a drama – following a bereaved mother’s struggle to deal with her son’s erratic behaviour – which just happens to contain an element of horror. This grounds The Babadook with a unique sense of realism.
It doesn’t outstay its welcome...
The reason why many recent films fail to scare as much as you’d hope could be attributed to the filmmaker’s need to introduce a convoluted backstory, leading to an unnecessarily lengthy running time. At a mere 93 minutes, The Babadook refuses to allow audiences time to look at their watches.
Mister Babadook will stay with you, probably for longer than you'd like..
A character as chillingly malevolent as Mister Babadook means we’ll probably be seeing him again in the future. Despite barely showing himself throughout the film, his overarching menacing presence will remain with you long after you leave the cinema – and undoubtedly when you wake up in the middle of the night. “Baba-dook-dook-doooook.”
The Babadook is released in cinemas on Friday 24th October.