The Babadook ★★★★

An immensely creepy well made horror film with actual characters? Whaaat? But yes this is one, and it came from a basically unknown Australian director. The Babadook is a little gem that builds up suspense and horror to such an intense level, it's a fantastically eerie and scary watch. But most importantly to me the quality of the film comes from the character story at the heart of it, which is genuinely heartfelt. Essie Davis is utterly terrific as Amelia, a woman with a troublesome young son who lives in a state of continuous grief after the death of her husband. There's a real emotional element to this horror, as Amelia attempts to overcome her grief and inability to properly love her son who is obsessed with monsters under the bed, and causes trouble with other children. Then a sinister supernatural presence invades their home and mother and child must come together to be there for each other against the freaky Babadook.

There's great inventiveness in this film, with the Babadook book and the design of the Babadook itself and the way it moves which is totally terrifying. The appearance of the monster is mostly concealed throughout the film which makes it all the more chilling, it seems to embody our imagination of what would scare us. Jennifer Kent uses the tactic of never full on showing the Babadook, he lingers in the shadows and seems to have several forms which makes it all the more unsettling. The slow burn build of dread works brilliantly and Essie Davis has an incredible scream, she's so great in the film as is the actor playing her son Noah Wiseman. Works as a great horror and a great meaningful drama.

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