The Babadook ★★½

Amelia reads her son Samuel a not so innocent children’s story about the ‘Babadook’, a hooded figure that emerges in the night to terrify ones house. From that moment on, her son who already had some psychological problems to begin with, starts to cause more and more trouble. Amelia, getting increasingly more annoyed with him as a result, develops her own disturbances in which the Babadook creeps. The Babadook is a praiseworthy picture for its way of delivering shocks. No jump-scares, gore or thrilling chases are necessary, it simply relies on precise editing, which is even done great outside of the ‘scary’ parts (the night-day time loops were very nice as well for example). It is also a film that blends its horror with purely psychological thriller in a daring mix. The line between reality and fiction is often blurred and one is unsure about whether the monster is actually existing or only present in one of the two lead characters’ heads, adding to the suspense. This asks a lot from Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman and although the former clearly succeeds with flying colours, the Samuel’s are off and very unchildlike, which unfortunately causes a bit of a mismatch between him and the viewer. I’m just wondering what’s up with their television, since it only seems to be showing films from the pre-sixties.

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