Let's talk about The Babadook

I caught this movie yesterday via Amazon Prime, and I’ve got to say that I absolutely loved it. Seriously, this film is an instant horror classic.

I especially loved it because all of the effects were practical (as far as I could tell), & the limited times that we actually see the monster make it a much more terrifying figure.

Has anybody else seen it? What did you think?

I’d heard about this film and added it to my list. It sounds awesome, and I’ll be glad to check in with my opinion after I’ve seen it (probably this weekend).

Unfortunately I’ve read spoilers so I know how it ends. Do you think the other aspects of it make it just as enjoyable even so? Would you watch it again despite knowing the ending?


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’ve seen it, and it seemed very well done.

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.

How much of the monster do you actually see? Is it as clear as this poster? Does it walk around and do stuff or do you see it and the movie cuts away and you only see the aftermath of its attack?

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 don’t recall seeing that poster image in the movie at all. The Babadook is pretty much only seen in shadows and silhouette.

Great movie.

Yeah, the monster on that poster is not The Babadook. I’ll bet the poster was done long before the movie was finished.

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.

A tiny bit of a zombie revival but I just saw this and wanted to add my two cents. Yes, it is a really, really good movie!

Speculative sort-of spoiler to follow:

[spoiler]Did you notice that one of the things she used to do for a living involved writing material for children in some capacity? Hm I wonder who might have put that book together…

I mean the answer is The Babadook of course.[/spoiler]

I thought it was OK, but not great.

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.

Grief, the stress of being a single mom, and a dental issue preventing her from sleeping. The movie points at the latter the most strongly, though I think that’s just the writer having a bit of fun.

Yes, the Babadook is an embodiment of her depression (which explains the ending, since mostly this sort of stuff can’t be “cured” magically in one night, but it can be managed)

Whether that embodiment was a physical creature or just something in her mind is left for you to decide.

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.)

Say no more. I didn’t think it would go that far (even despite the foreshadowing) and was quite horrified that it did.

Another yea-vote for the Babadook. Best horror movie I’ve seen in a while, and I don’t see many I consider to be very good at all.

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.

The zombie lives!

I finally got around to watching this, and I thought it was really fantastic. Not only was it rich in all sorts of psychological complexity, but it was incredibly tense almost from beginning to end.

I also admire any horror movie that manages to execute jump scares at a distance, rather than with the cheap close-up shots.