IMG_0227What’s it all about?

The Babadook is an Australian horror film in which

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.

Why did I want to watch it?

As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I really enjoy a good horror movie, and I had heard good things about this from both professional critics (it was one of Mark Kermode’s’ favourite films of last year) and friends (who assured me it wasn’t one of the quiet, quiet, LOUD fraternity). And it was a Saturday afternoon, my traditional horror-movie-watching time, so what else is a girl supposed to do?

What did I think of it?

This is a really effective film, not the scariest I’ve seen but really quite creepy and unsettling largely because of its domestic setting, playing into the fear we all have (or is it just me?) of something going wrong inside your own house, because after all that’s where we are supposed to feel safest isn’t it?

I suspect The Babadook may also be scarier if you are a parent (which I’m not) because there is a strong mix of resentment about the behaviour of the little boy and your own potential loss of control and terror that something is after him which intellectually I think we can all understand but perhaps has an additional weight if you have kids of your own.

I will confess that I found Samuel really annoying for the first part of the film and my sympathies were totally with Amelia as she struggled to cope on her own, but as time passes and it still isn’t clear whether the Babadook is real or she is going mad, I started to wonder how much of the situation she had created herself and to feel a bit sorry for the kid who may actually have been getting it right all along. I will say no more than that.

As a monster the Babadook itself was very well done, menacing without really being properly seen, and all of the performances were great. I thought it worked very well, liked it very much and will watch it again.