The film is as much of a psychological descent into madness as it is a monster movie. Watching it, you really come to grips with the uneasiness & madness that gradually overcomes the characters. Seriously, there’s just so much damn tension in this movie that it makes the genuine moments of horror all the more powerful.
I have to caveat that it is hard for me to judge horror movies because as near as I can tell it is no longer possible for a movie to scare me at all. When I recovered from the terror of seeing Poltergeist when I was 6 that seems to have hardened my soul in some way.
It did go in a direction that seemed original (neatly switching back on the expectation of who we are to fear) and the conclusion is satisfyingly psychological.
So without knowing for sure if it is actually scary, I do recommend it.
I saw it in the theater last week, it’s still playing in Chicago, and thought it was great. I don’t watch too many horror movies, but it’s as much psychological horror (is it all in her head?) as monster horror, and I love those. I’d put it on par with The Others, The Orphanage, The Devil’s Backbone and such. I agree it’s an instant classic, and I can’t wait to follow the filmmaker’s career. That would be the writer/director Jennifer Kent, as well as actress Essie Davis, who was amazing.
Edit to add, yes, I would definitely watch it again. There are several layers that I think would reward repeat viewing.
Yeah, that was scary. I watched at home in a darkened room and got the chills in a couple places. That never happens to me at home. I’m not a parent, but I think that parents would find it every scarier than I did.
It’s mainly psychological, you don’t see the ghoul hardly at all, a couple seconds tops. Mainly because on a low budget movie, you need to create tension.
Short answer, see the movie, you won’t be disappointed.
I meant, the graphics for the poster. Obviously there are review blurbs on it. As you’re watching the movie, you get an idea of what The Babadook looks like from the book they find and read telling the story of the thing, so that when the mother thinks she sees it at various times, your imagination fills in all the details of the transition between comic-illustrated Babadook and Mama-seen Babadook.
I saw it a while ago and loved it, and I’d love to see it again. I wasn’t as scared by it as some people seem to be, but it was excellent horror that got inside my brain. I wish it was at more theaters so more people could go see it in the theater, but I’m glad it’s on VOD and people are watching it. In the theater it’s great, because you can hear everyone else’s reactions, but I suppose it might be scarier watching it at home, since it’s mostly set in a home.
Also the actors were amazing. Essie Davis was great as the mother. I’ve also been watching her in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries in which she plays a much different character and loving her in that. The kid was also great, he felt like a very real person, not like a child actor mugging for the camera.
Is it fair to say the Babadook represents her repressed grief over the death of her husband? She won’t allow anyone to say his name and has never celebrated the kid’s birthday on the day. By the end, she celebrates on his birthday and they have control over the beast.
That’s an interesting point that I did not pick up on.
I did happen to notice the early scene in which she’s reading "the Artist’s Way."Just my own experience on reading TAW was that it was very short on practical advice and long on the worst kind of new agey, self-absorbed drivel - “You are such a creative artistic soul, which is obvious because you BOUGHT THIS BOOK! And you are creatively unfulfilled not because of anything about you, but because of all those ‘crazy makers’ who want to bring you down to their mediocre level…blah, blah, blah…” I still can’t be sure that the film-makers inserted deliberately, or I am just reading too much into it, but I think it does kind of fit - the mother unconsciously blaming her child (whom she feels obliged to love, but actually kind of dislikes) for stifling her creativity and her life.
In general, I really liked this movie. I wouldn’t say it was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen, but it does have a skin-crawling creepiness to it. The one scene that truly frightened me did not involve the titular monster at all, but came from the mother herself (If you’ve seen this, I’m sure you know the scene I am talking about.)
Saw this last night with my mother, who was bored to tears.
We both thought that we would have started sedating the child in the first scene. I would have been crushing sleeping pills and slipping them into his oatmeal. then at least the poor woman could get laid and get a good night’s sleep.
I liked it better than she did. I thought it built tension and dread nicely, especially with subtle ways she starts seeing the Babadook everywhere. Sadly, the payoff just wasn’t there. I was waiting for a longer full view of Babdook and being sooo creeped out. The ending was anti climactic.
Heh. My mom and I watched it tonight, and this was pretty much our reactions as well. Mom thought she would have gotten the kid to a shrink sooner and that a kid that age is well old enough to have escaped the house and gone to the neighbor’s when he realized his mother wasn’t right. She thought it was too slow while I found it kind of creepy, but it wasn’t terribly frightening.