After losing her husband in a car accident on the same day of her son’s birth, troubled widow Amelia (Essie Davis) must now deal with her grief from losing her husband while struggling to raise her troubled son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). When Samuel begins to believe that a monster has entered their home through the pages of a children’s book, Amelia soon discovers that her son is telling the truth.
I’ve spoken about this before but I am a big fan of horror films. I don’t mind either type of horror film, the more violent ones where the more graphic it is the better as long as its not gratuitous or the psychological horror films that like to play around with your mind. I prefer the latter so I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that this film was more like the second. Despite being the film being called The Babadook and featuring a monster that also called The Babadook, it does take a backseat here. The film chooses to focus on the relationship between the mother and the son. Without giving too much of the story away, the film is about how the family, more specifically the mother, is coping with the grief of losing her husband and having to take care of her unstable son and dealing with the stress coming from that. With Amelia having lost her husband and Samuel having lost his father, they only have each other and this fact strengthens their relationship. The fact also becomes very evident to the viewer while watching and because of this, it is their film. You don’t mind this because of the performances of Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman. Davis embodies the character of Amelia beautifully as she portrays Amelia’s fear and fragile mental state with ease making her feel real and genuine. Wiseman’s Samuel may seem annoying and obnoxious at first but he is simply a kid acting the way one would if they were in that kind of a situation. There are no jump scares in this film as its horror stems from how the monsters seems to affect the family emotionally and their relationship. I like this better as it isn’t simply stupid characters running from one scare to the next as is often seen in lesser horror films. It chooses to scare in a more subtle way. Some may be turned off by its pace as it does take a while to get going but I did not mind this as I was becoming invested in the characters and this helped me to better appreciate what happened later on. It’s not too flashy, for lack of a better word, either but that is probably because of the film’s budget but based on the story, it was not necessary. I think I can easily say that after watching this film that it is now in my top 5 favorite horror films and definitely in the top 5 films of 2014. Just give it some time and I swear you will not be disappointed.
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