sprizzle’s review published on Letterboxd:
"I won't let anything bad happen to you."
Forget the horror film purists. I'll try to avoid labels and genres as much as possible in the review. Simply put, this is the scariest movie I've seen this year.
The Babadook is based on a book. It's not drawing from source material, the plot just centers around this book called Mister Babadook. The book comes into the house of Amelia and her son Samuel and begins to haunt them. But there is a whole lot more going on in this film. There are demons in the house that have woven themselves into the fabric of the family long before the book ever showed up. Seven years to be exact.
You see, Samuel's father was killed on the way to the hospital. A hospital trip that came about do to Amelia being pregnant with Samuel and having that baby. Samuel takes every opportunity to tell this "fun fact" to strangers; in fact he uses every opportunity to tell facts to strangers. The boy speaks his mind. The person who isn't speaking what's on their mind is his mother Amelia. She is sweeping her grief under the rug and that is what will eventually materialize and come to haunt her in the form of the Babadook.
I liked a lot about this film. The set design to start, was great. It was almost over the top with all of the greys and soft colors used in the house, but it ended up making everything seem like a fantasy. I loved Samuel's character; the brat who builds weapons to dispose of monsters. I thought Essie Davis (Amelia) did a hell of a job. I thought the book itself was great and I want a copy. The Babadook was present at the right times and absent when it made sense.
Overall, I think a lot of smart decisions were made by first time director Jennifer West and the rest of the crew. The reason why this film has caught so much attention is because it really IS scary. You can chime in if you want and tell me how much the film didn't scare you tough guys, but I'd tell you to name a film released in the last five years that used all of it's powers at hand to frighten better. Of course this movie borrows from others...That's what artists do. It's an amalgamation of a lot of your favorite horror movies and it's wrapped up so nicely in this scary little book called The Babadook.