Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Babadook Is A Masterpiece of Writing And Acting

IFC Midnight 
Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent

“[Essie] Davis offers an alarming portrait of maternal affection pushed to its furthest limits.”
-- A.A. Dowd, The A.V. Club
“Any parent who has ever been pushed to the brink and heard an alien voice coming out of him or her—a voice that sounds like it’s from the pit of hell—will understand who and what the Babadook is.”
-- David Edelstein, Vulture
“A simple, elegant setup for a psychological horror film about depression, motherhood, grief, and madness.”
-- Dana Stevens, Slate

Young widow Amelia lives with her seven-year-old son, Samuel, who seems to get odder by the day. His father’s death in an accident when driving Amelia to the hospital to give birth to him may have something to do with the boy’s unnerving behavior, which scares other children and perhaps even his own mother. But when a sinister children’s book called Mister Babadook mysteriously appears—and keeps reappearing—Amelia begins to wonder if there’s a presence in the house more disturbed than her son. Jennifer Kent’s visually stunning debut genuinely frightens us with the revelation that the things that go bump in the night may be buried deep inside our psyches, not just in the basement.   


"I am fascinated by what happens to people when they suppress their feelings, especially painful ones. Suppression may work momentarily, even for a number of years, but eventually the truth will come out.

Amelia, the central character of the film, goes through the horrific and violent loss of her husband, the love of her life, in a terrible car accident. This happens as they are speeding to the hospital, Amelia in labor with their first child. The day her husband is killed is the day her son Samuel is born. The film begins almost seven years later.

Amelia finds she cannot love her son because she hasn’t been able to face the grief of what happened. This suppressed grief builds such energy that it splits off from her, stalks then possesses her, and eventually... her 6-year-old child. This questioning of mother love is where the core of the horror lies. 

This precarious relationship between Amelia and Samuel is also where the hope of the film exists. Despite its horror, THE BABADOOK is a love story, a mother moving through the center of hell towards her child. It’s a nightmare ride, but like Amelia, the audience is rewarded for their commitment to it."

 "The Babadook" is Now Playing in Theaters Across the Country and Everywhere on Cable & Digital VOD

The 411 by Maria:

Last night I watched the Babadook a dark, moody, smart, horror movie about a woman who hasn't dealt with her grief after her husband's passing. At first it seems like any other generic horror movie about a little boy scared of a story his mother reads to him one night where the character of the book comes to life scaring them both out of their minds.

NO! It is NOT that. It is so much more and I was completely blown away by how good this movie was and I am still unsure if the Babadook is a manifestation of the characters minds or if he was real. Whatever! It doesn't matter.  We are so conditioned to feel a certain way by so many movies out there today and I have watched a ton of the horror genre. This is one of the greats!

Amelia is a single mom or mum as Samuel calls her, this is an Australian film after all whose husband died in a car accident as he was getting her to the hospital to have Samuel. Samuel is a precocious, adorable 6 year old who has some obvious behavioral problems due to his wild imagination or is it imagination? Anyway I digress....

While Amelia tries to handle Samuel being kicked out of school and his wild, vivid imagination she begins to see the things that Samuel is seeing.

While it plays out like a horror movie, dark, foreboding house, creepy dark corners, bumps in the night, spooked pet, scary basement, frightening visions, horrifying sounds I believe the story has so many layers you will think about it for days. I need to watch it again to see what I missed. There were times I actually had the chills all over my body and felt very tense mostly during the quietest moments of the movie which I contribute to the brilliant acting by both main characters.  Essie Davies (Amelia) is a wildly impressive. She is a loving mom, a frightening force, a grieving wife, a tormented killer, she is everything and then some. Noah Wiseman (Samuel) is a loveable, devilish, little one who I wanted to hold and comfort one second and slap his bottom the next.

Not scary, I didn't loose any sleep but very very spooky and thought provoking. Who do you think the babadook is?

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered for this review.

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