Flash Movie Review: The Babadook
Though I never had a nightlight, when I went from my crib to a bed I had to have the bedroom door opened a crack. It did not have to be opened wide, just enough to let a sliver of light cast a pathway for me if I needed to make a quick exit. You see there were times when I had to hide under my blanket because there was a bunch of birds or bats fighting to get through the bedroom window. I could see their shadows flapping against each other up on the far wall of the bedroom, opposite the window where a huge oak tree’s branches were reaching towards my room. The limbs looked like long arthritic arms shaking their fists of leaves at me. Sometimes there was an unusual sound; something I had never heard before. It sounded like the wooden floor was groaning from an unexpected heavy weight. I was so scared I would lie very still, pretending I was one of the pillows I had in bed with me. As I grew up I realized that sound was actually our neighbor from the apartment above when he wore his heavy work boots in the house. Life can be really scary for a young child. SAMUEL, played by newcomer Noah Wisemam, was convinced there was a monster in the house. In fact, he was taking household products and turning them into weapons to protect himself and his mother Amelia, played by Essie Davis (Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Matrix franchise), from the scary being. Samuel’s obsession was driving his mother crazy. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent (Monster), I was so relieved to finally watch a horror movie that depended more on suspense than blood to scare the viewer. The story in this film festival winning thriller rolled out in such a way that it worked perfectly in allowing the tension to build up. Now granted, having a mother and a young child as the main focus lent itself for this movie to be even more scary than the usual young adult in the wrong place/wrong time format. The idea for this story was perfect because who as a young child was not scared of something when they went to bed? I had to give Noah extra credit with his acting because I moved from one perception of his character to another due to his performance. Be prepared, his screaming could become annoying for some viewers. I know the horror genre can be a fantasy but it surprised me how real the mother was in this dramatic movie. Just when I thought I was over being scared of going to sleep, how will I get to sleep tonight? There were a couple of brief scenes with blood.
2 3/4 stars