Anyone who knows me knows that I Love, with a capital L, scary movies. I can’t get enough, much to the dismay of my husband. And I don’t discriminate. I watch the slashers, the thrillers, the mystery suspense, the monsters, the foreign films (even the ones that you never quite figure out what they are about), the ghost stories and the supernatural. I watch the classics and the indie horrors that no one has ever seen. October is dedicated solely to horror films and I usually watch at least one a week throughout the rest of the year. My husband always asks why I do it, why do I want to be scared, why do I enjoy watching some of the most grotesque things that the mind can conjure up and put on film? I don’t know why I love horror films so much, to tell you the truth, but I think it’s because I love being emotionally affected. I love to cry during movies, I will watch the most depressing documentaries I can find, I only listen to music that evokes an emotional response so I won’t listen to the radio because I don’t have control over what is played, and I love being scared… I just need all the feels.
The Babadook delivers on the feels. So much so that I want to name my future (hopefully near future) dog Babadook, which, after watching the movie, you will probably find very strange. My husband does too so he’s nixed the idea, unfortunately…. He’s a party pooper.
The film focuses around Amelia, a single mother to her only son, Daniel. One night at bedtime Daniel asks Amelia to read him a book called The Babadook and things take a sinister turn from there. I don’t want to give too much away but I highly recommend this film. It has been a long time since I have watched a horror film that I really loved. It doesn’t rely on cheap tricks but rather creates a tense atmosphere fueled by some of our deepest fears. I think that the success of the movie not only lies with Jennifer Kent being a brilliant director and visionary artist but with Essie Davis, the actress that plays Amelia. I honestly cannot say enough about her, rarely have I seen such emotional range. She blew me away with her honest depiction of a single mother trying to hold it together when everything around her is falling apart.
On that note, I think that the other genius behind this film is it’s metaphoric depiction of a woman battling with mental illness. There are some people, like my husband, that think I read too much into these things (sometimes a cigar is just a cigar) but if you watch the film I would like to hear your thoughts in the comments. Again, I don’t want to spoil any plot points so I won’t explain my reasoning behind this thinking but if you would like to discuss in the comments, I would be more than happy to!
Also, just for some background, this was a Kickstarter campaign based on a short film by Jennifer Kent that you can watch below. Enjoy!