31 Days of Horror: Day 19 “The Babadook”
Day 19: Where there is imagination, there is darkness and from within that darkness lurks a being of unfathomable terror … close to home. If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of … The Babadook
I don’t have anything negative to say about The Babadook. I absolutely loved it. It’s dreary and tense from the start with little rest throughout. The creature’s design is unnerving but he is kept just enough in the dark that I was inescapably drawn to him. The mother’s sanity brings in more conflict as you try to determine whether or not this is all hallucination or reality. If Get Out was so praised for it’s horror realization of racism, The Babadook is the equivalent for grief. The mother’s struggle through her pain is executed so well within the creature’s plot that by the end, when resolution and relief are finally met, I actually smiled. I want to watch this again soon.
Between this movie having a slow beginning and an insanely annoying kid (which just means he was doing a good job of acting) this movie almost lost me. The more I watched the more I enjoyed the movie. It has some unexpected twists and eerie scenes as well as some seamless camera tricks. This is more than just another scary movie, by showing the different outcomes that a tragedy can bring. Badadook is the manifiestation of grief, and how grief can destroy us and never leaves us. The film didn’t look like it had a big budget but I think they did a great job with the budget they had. There are a lot of little nuances in the movie that make this a film worth watching again, including a surprise ending which the more I thought about it makes a lot of sense.
I remember my first time watching this movie… All I could see was that insane little kid and the mother’s desperation and it was way too close to home. My son has since grown and is still a monster, but not quite to the same extent as this guy. The Babadook is so well done. The second time through, you begin to notice things you didn’t see before and it takes the movie to a whole new level. Jennifer Kent both wrote and directed this movie with class. The first time I watched it, I left reeling over it for days. The second time was the same! There are so many possibilities when it comes to interpreting this film from the supernatural to the more natural in that you get a sense that there are several psychological issues that this mother is dealing with. In the end, it all just goes to show that there are some ghosts you can never get rid of.
-Josh T. Romero
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