The Babadook ★★★★½

Man. Man! What a great film.

I originally learned of The Babadook when researching horror films that weren't too scary that we could watch on Halloween. Dan and Lindsey (and to a lesser extent, Mal) aren't the biggest horror fans, so I wanted something that'd be spooky but not haunt them forever. In my opinion, this film met that criteria*. As a bonus, it's also an incredible movie.

The film opens inside a car—Amelia is going into labor and is on the way to the hospital with her husband, Oscar. There's a wreck, and he doesn't make it. Amelia, however, does, and her son, Samuel, is born.

We jump to present day where a hyperactive 6-year-old is making life difficult for Amelia. But what's worse is that she's still struggling with the loss of her husband, all these years later.

When a mysterious book shows up on Sam's shelf one night, the bedtime story introduces the Babadook, a creature that lives in the shadows and prevents you from sleeping. Immediately after, Sam starts seeing the monster in real life. Amelia dismisses this, but it gets worse and worse, causing violent reactions from her son. And then... does she see it too?

What follows is honestly a beautiful tale about the bond between parent and child, and the sheer exhaustion of parenting. Grief manifests itself in a variety of ways, and sometimes the results aren't pretty.

I highly recommend this film, and doubly so to anyone who is normally not the horror type. There's no jump scares here, no gore. Just a psychological adventure through the eyes of mother and son.

*I'm probably obligated to tell you Dan and Lindsey described the film as "nightmare fuel" and said they wouldn't be able to sleep. But I heavily disagree :V