The Babadook ★★★★

Ridiculous name, great movie. Mature, character-based, strong direction, excellent performances. Essie Davis might give the best central female performance in a horror film since Nicole Kidman in The Others. Though smart enough to conceal its baddie behind shadow and metaphor, The Babadook also achieves a few moments of genuine fear, when we're not being spooked by sudden noises but just staring at the screen in the horror of a waking nightmare. As best I can tell, though the final meaning is foggy at best, the film doesn't cheat. It was building good will throughout and I kept waiting for it to give in and let me down and it never did.