Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm so proud right now of The Babadook coming from Australia. It abides by none of the habits of the current trend in Australian cinema: it is strident in a solidly built story, delivers on its (horror) genre and entertains.
The Babadook never reaches the scare heights of a horror classic or even the more recent The Conjuring and most of this stems from the fact that this is Jennifer Kent's debut. The coverage isn't quite there, sometimes the shot choices are less effective for pinpointing the scare. Similarly on the story front there are a couple of beats missing and almost all of these come in confrontation moments between Amelia (Essy Davies) and the Babadook.
However, this is a seriously impressive genre film to come out of an Australian landscape that tends to deride hard genre. It has good atmosphere and the blue and grey cinematography gives the film a nice wintery feel. Also starring a realistic performance of a 6 year old child: he is grating, repetitive and never shuts up, precocious is his own way but not in the same overly knowing way that an American film would try to push. I really like how the film doesn't feel the need to explain every aspect of symbolism in the film.