Sunday, December 7, 2014

Screaming Sunday - The Babadook

By Sati. Sunday, December 7, 2014 ,
Movie rating - 80/100
Plot:  A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
The heroes: The mother and her son. Or perhaps just her son?
The antagonists: The mysterious Babadook
Best scene: It's hard to choose just one in the film so consistent but I'd choose the scene where Amelia gets the book back...with certain creepy additions to it.
Oh-oh something's not right line: Don't let him in.
What makes it so great? This film is easily one of the best and smartest horror films of the last few years - it's not quite as entertaining as Orphan or The Conjuring but it's very psychologically complex, brilliantly acted and executed. The film's best element is the script which much like for example Black Swan is showing the events almost completely from subjective perspective leaving a lot of room for theories and interpretations.

There is a shift at one point of the movie where we begin to question everything - is Amelia a loving mother or is she someone who is abusive towards her son? Are these events we are seeing an isolated event or does it happen all the time? Is she insane or is she possessed? What is happening in their house? The film makes it possible to answer all these questions with different answers and not just one is valid. The ending is also open, depending on which interpretation you follow, albeit it could have been made a bit more clear - I see a lot of people who didn't notice that the ending may not exactly be what it seems.

Despite the film's clever ideas the number of horror cliches that are appalling - such as sick dog must die cliche - is quite high, but the film is still very well executed and the acting is terrific, especially by Essie Davis who gives a wonderful and complex performance.
Scare factor: - 4/5 evil pumpkins - the themes explored in this movie are extremely disturbing - what if your husband dies on the way to the hospital where he is taking you because you're in labor? what if you never stop missing him? what if you hate and resent your child? and just easily - what if there is a malevolent force in your house? What is scariest in The Babadook are very unpleasant and creepy ideas that could easily happen in real life, not the monster. It's what happens to people and how they are unable to deal with that what is the true monster here.
Gore factor:- 2/5 bloody Leatherfaces - there is some blood in this movie but nothing too gory. There is one quite gory moment that is over quickly. The film doesn't rely on gore to frighten the audience.
Is there a twist? Depending on what you think happened there is none or there are many. But a certain close up of someone's hand covered in black chalk could count as a twist.
Hint: Don't watch it around dogs or children.
Unsuitable for: Pregnant women and mothers with difficult children.
Repercussions: I'm fairly certain I most definitely do not want kids.

26 comments:

  1. I've been hearing so much about this one (given that it's Australian) but haven't been able to build up the courage to actually see it haha. I'm such a wimp when it comes to horror films, and my girlfriend is even worse so I have zero hope :D Great review Sati!

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    1. It's not horribly scary, I'd say it's more disturbing and thought provoking than frightening. Thank you!

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  2. Ha ha! I've often suspected a teen/young adult moviethon would be the most effective way to promote birth control. I'd start off with We Need to Talk About Kevin and Joshua, and it sounds like this might be a good candidate for the line up. You have me very intrigued about this movie.

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    1. I just hate annoying, screaming kids who constantly need attention. I can barely take care of myself and my dog.

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  3. This is getting rave reviews, that's enough to sell me on it. I can't wait.

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  4. I always think that Samuel is the protagonist, while her mother is the antagonist, although she later turns to be something else in the end of the movie.
    I like points to points in your post!

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    1. Thanks! I though she was the main character but maybe it was because the kid really annoyed me. But she did have plenty of individual scenes

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  5. Glad you liked this one! A little predictable at times but scratch the surface and there's some really col and interesting stuff in there. Plus, the book is awesome! Great review :)

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  6. I actually just read about this film and it definitely sounds way too scary & disturbing for me. "What is scariest in The Babadook are very unpleasant and creepy ideas that could easily happen in real life, not the monster. It's what happens to people and how they are unable to deal with that what is the true monster here." Yep, that's what I dread about this, and it sounds like a very heartbreaking film too, given the circumstances about the husband/dad's violent death.

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    1. Well it's not that scary or gory, it's disturbing but it's no more disturbing than some of the stuff that's in the news. It's only handled in a surreal way.

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  7. Ba-ba-ba-dook-dook-dook. I haven't been able to get that out of my head since I've seen the film. I went into it knowing nothing about it apart from that it was getting rave reviews. I saw it, and now it's in my top 20 of the year. Truly scary, unlike many other 'horror' films, and Essie Davis' performance is nothing short of brilliant. Loved it, and I'm glad you did as well! Great review :)

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    1. That was so insanely creepy! That sound was probably the scariest part of the film.

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  8. Excellent review! I so want to see this movie. It is not playing anywhere near here. Sad face.

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  9. Great post! I really liked the film, and Essie Davis was awesome!

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    1. Thank you! She was really great, amazing performance.

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  10. omg it's so good. I think it flies in the face of cliches, creating a far more subtle yet powerful story layer

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    1. It is powerful but there are still plenty of cliches, unfortunately.

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  11. Finally watched it and I must note the directing is really good. At least I thought it was good.

    So the way I see it the Babadook is part of you? The shadow everyone keeps and if you don't deal with it and accept it, it can come out in an unpleasant way. Right?

    That kid is really annoying, especially in the beginning, but he isn't even half as annoying as my cousin who is his age. And I'm not exaggerating here - he won't stop talking, he won't behave, he will repeat one and the same thing over and over and over again, he doesn't listen what he is told, he becomes extremely irritating when he doesn't get what he wants, which is why he usually gets whatever he wants. At least he is becoming less annoying now, but he really can test your nerves.

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    1. I think it was resentment or something. The way she kept blaming and hating the kid because he was the reason her husband died. and she felt awful about it because well she is the mother resenting her own child.

      Are his parents not doing anything about that? They really should, he will grow up to be a major shit if they dont

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  12. So I watched this a couple weeks ago. I am in love with the imagery. The German expressionist silent film stuff added a whole other layer of creepiness and dread to the film.

    The more I think about it, the more I want to revisit the film.

    I'm curious, have you seen We Need to Talk About Kevin? The Babadook reminded me a bit of that film because of the subjectivity of the mother.

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    1. Yes, I loved that little movie in it too! Such cool imagery.

      I did, excellent movie!

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  13. Great post and great photo edits!! I was surprised how impressed I was with this movie, and I'm glad to see that we're in agreement here :)

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    1. Thanks! This is still the best horror flick of 2014 :)

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