Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wieseman
Six years after Amelia's (Essie Davis) husband was tragically killed, a children's book called The Babadook mysteriously appears in her home. Amelia's 6 year old son Samuel (Noah Wieseman) is uncontrollably pre-occupied with monsters that lurk in the dark. When Amelia reads him this story at bedtime, it becomes the catalyst to a chain of sinister and supernatural events which take over their lives.
The Babadook is Australia's return to the horror film genre, with varying degrees of success. Performances from the leads are astonishing especially from young child actor Wieseman, who credibly shifts from one emotion to the next as the terrifying events unfold. 'Borrowed' elements from horror classics such as Poltergeist, The Exorcist and A Nightmare on Elm Street are easily identifiable and collectively accelerate momentum. Scenes where Samuel fends off demons in his mother using his boyish gadgets strangely reminds of McCauley Culkin in Home Alone.
Clichéd horror film scare tactics effectively utilised including creaking doors, demonic voices and unseen monsters in the shadows successfully extract optimum screams from the audience. Adversely, the problem with The Babadook is that it's unoriginal and we've seen it all before. Commencing satisfactorily, the film is let down in the final 20 minutes where the story nonsensically meanders off course leaving the audience questioning why there was such a swift change in direction.
The Babadook is an average horror flick aimed at the “easily satisfied' teenage movie goers. When screened at the Sundance Film Festival last year it surprisingly created 'a buzz' and the question that needs to be asked is why? JAKE