Okay so i decided to pluck up the courage and watch The Babadook today. I have read a number of reviews, both good and bad and decided to find out for myself. I sat down on the sofa with my cup of tea and my quilt (ready to hide if necessary) and dubiously began watching the film.
It is supposed to be a Psychological thriller about a grieving mother who finds out that the evil monster from her son’s children’s book is actually real. The start of the film is extremely slow, however you can see that the mother Amelia (played by Essie Davis ) is struggling to control her child Samuel who is exhibiting very difficult behaviours. He is obsessed with evil monsters and destroying them in one way or another. Amelia has to check under the bed and in the colsets to show Sam that there are no monsters. I do have to say that the young actor who played Samuel ( Noah Wiseman ) plays the character very well from the start , however I feel that it took a while for the character of Amelia to come out. As the film continues you see that Amelia is finding it more and more difficult to control Samuel’s behaviour and it is clear to the viewers that she does not know how to handle the situation. She lost her husband on the same day her son was born, whilst he was taking her to the hospital to give birth. This is not something Amelia will discuss at all with anybody and gets quite angry when her husbands name is brought up in conversations. After reading the babadook to Sam he becomes obsessed with killing it and truly believes that the monster is real and he doesn’t want it ti hurt him or his mother. The more Amelia denies that it exists the it starts to take over her life. It eventually posses her and whilst she is possessed she kills her dog and attempts to attack Sam (as the book depicted). Sam tells her he will always love her and she ends up vomiting up the Babadook. She tells the Babadook she will kill it if it ever tries to hurt her son again and it flees to her basement…
I do have to say that this is not a typical “scary film” with the music build-ups and cheap scares. It did genuinely freak me out at times, because you could see the toll it was taking on both mother and child and their relationship. You won’t get jumping out of your seat scared but throughout the film you definitely get an eerie creeped out , kind of disturbing feeling, and that “Ba Baba dook dook dook” said in the creepiest voice ever made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. In that respect the film is very well put together. If you are the kind of person that hates cheap and cheesy scares, where the girl always runs outside with nothing on her feet, looking back for the evil pursuing her only to fall over a tree branch, or when they know someone is in their house and they choose to run upstairs and lock themselves in a room they know they can’t get out of instead of running outside for help like a normal person – this is the film for you. This is a film that really does make you think – “is there a deeper meaning to what this film is about?”
Some people have stated that this is really about the grief that Amelia has held on to since Sam was born. She never celebrated Sam’s birthday on the actual date he was born as that was the day his father died and Amelia is unable to deal with it. On the one hand i can see how the Babadook can be perceived as a manifestation of her grief and that when she finally comes to terms with her loss and is able to talk about her husband and celebrate her son’s birthday on the actual day, however on the other hand , if she had dealt with the grief why was she digging up worms to take to the basement and feed to The Babadook, which now resided there??
It could be said that if The Babadook was a manifestation of her grief, that because grief never truly disappears that it could be symbolic of that. But i still don’t understand why she has to feed it and why Sam wants to know if he can see it?
All in all I feel that this is an okay film for me .. The concept was good, however i do feel that it was lacking slightly.
I give it a 3 out of 5