Getting back in gear after that series of 31 reviews by… just reviewing another movie. I guess it’s basically just heading back to business as usual guys. So, let’s start talking about what was easily one of my most anticipated movies of 2014, a horror fairy tale from Australia : The Babadook. What is a Babadook you’re asking? Well, here’s the 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.
This movie is deceptively complex, and delivers on so many things, that I’m finally excited to be reviewing a 2014 horror movie again. After consistent disappointment from the year’s horror movies, sitting down to a movie I was looking forward to as much as this one definitely made me nervous. Thankfully, however, this movie delivered in a huge way.
Babadook offers up serious atmosphere, and packs a genuine emotional punch, while being genuinely frightening. I’m not used to my horror films both frightening me, and making me feel feelings, and that’s really what this one does. The relationship between Amelia and Samuel is so genuine and raw, that there are times you forget you’re watching a horror movie. I genuinely felt for Amelia and her struggle, and was filled with a wild amount of empathy for Robbie dealing with the monsters in the closet.
Essie Davis (Amelia) and Noah Wiseman (Samuel) deliver absolutely dynamite performances. The relationship between them is real, and at times incredibly tragic, and the amount of chemistry here is pretty out of this world. There are really nothing but great performances in this one, including a brief appearance from star of The Snowtown Murders (which you should REALLY check out), Daniel Henshall.
In terms of the horror elements of this movie, again it really delivers. The Babadook itself is genuinely frightening, and the entire mythology around it is strong, and creepy. Watching Samuel suffer at the hands of this creature, and then his mother, really adds so much to the movie. This is what happens when you build the characters in your movie up, and make your audience care about them. It adds an entire layer to the movie, making it that much scarier when these characters are in peril.
The effects are simple but effective, and the movie does not rely on jump scares to make you fear. It delivers everything in a real and honest way that makes it all the more effective.
All in all, The Babadook is one of the most effective horror films in quite some time, and while it has no serious gore or constant loud-noise jump scares, it delivers an extremely gripping and frightening movie. This is what I mean when I say “Expect more from your horror movies”. If you’re more interested in Ouija or Annabelle, then this probably isn’t the movie for you, but if you want something real and frightening, you need The Babadook in your life. Watch this movie. Seriously. Watch it.
FINAL GRADE: A+