The Babadook ★★★

My expectations were maybe a little too high for this one. It’s a nicely crafted, vaguely spooky chamber piece, with a charismatic, sympathetic lead in Essie Davis. And it’s got some subtle other-worldly touches, like the women at the kids’ birthday party dressed as mourners. Yet it all feels a bit lacking in something. The atmosphere is thinner than it should be; the denouement a bit of a cheat considering all that’s built up before. And most of all, it’s not a million miles away from the rightly pilloried Lights Out in its problematic conflation of supernatural shenanigans and mental illness.

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