The Babadook ★★★

And there you have it: The Shining meets My Neighbour Totoro...sort of.

It's...fine? I'm not sure where the critical acclaim is coming from, although I do have a theory:

- It's a modern horror film that isn't crap;
- It's a modern horror film that's well made;
- It's a modern horror film that doesn't have any jumpscares;
- It's a family drama disguised as a modern horror film.

That last point might divide viewers; this has far more in common with a drama than the horror film that the advertising for this film makes you believe it is. Besides the fact that the trailers for this were quite misleading, the horror elements and the drama elements did not work for me. It starts out with a mother character I did not care for and a son character I found really annoying. Which I know, that was the point, but my attitude towards this kid did not change later in the film. The horror elements on the other hand were really few and far between, and I didn't think they were that unsettling. It's also quite clear from the start where the film is going, so every bit of shock value and disturbing imagery does not work because it's easy to see coming. As a result, The Babadook was quite a tedious, predictable and forgettable experience. It's definitely well made and decently acted, but it needed something else to drive the story forward and better character development.

Also: what mother allows her kid to walk around with a crossbow? And did he make that?

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