Friday, December 26, 2014

The Babadook

"The Babadook" (2014) starring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall is surprisingly creepy horror movie about a children's pop up book that has a horrible creature that comes to life to terrorize a mom and her young son.

Widowed mom Amelia (Essie Davis) is trying to keep up with the demands of life - working and being a single mom to a very precocious son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman).  Her husband died taking her to the hospital when her son was born seven years earlier.  She is still working through the grief of losing him.  Samuel is quite a handful, getting kicked out of school, causing problems with his cousin and making life very difficult for his mom.

One night Samuel picks out the nightly storybook to read together before bed.  It is titled "The Babadook" and is a scary popup book about a shadowy creature that is trying to get in and terrorize the family in the book.  As Amelia reads it, she quickly sees it escalate into violence between the mother and the son and immediately hides then tries to destroy the book.
However, being a special book, it is returned to them and the Babadook monster, first only seen by Samuel, continues to intrude deeper into their lives.  Soon Amelia, and the viewer, doesn't know what is reality or what is within the characters' minds.

"The Babadook" is a very effective psychological thriller and horror story.  It creates a menacing and oppressive atmosphere as the mother and son become isolated from the world around them as they try to deal with this monster that may or may not be only in their minds.  The cinematography, music, eerie sound effects and great acting by Essie Davis contribute to an enjoyable horror film that will send chills down your spine.


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