Indie horrors have taken off lately, especially since release of games such as Slender Man and Five Nights at Freddy’s. But nothing screams (Literally) indie horror like Australians horror film The Babadook.
When Amelia Vanek (Essie Davis) reads the Babadook to her son Sammy Vanek (Noah Wiseman), he starts to freak out at EVERYTHING, as he begins to believe that he is under attack from a terrifying monster. So to the surprise of the mother but not to the surprise of the audience, the monster turns out to be real.
The film opens with an extremely cleaver way of portraying a car crash. The movie focuses on just a close up of one of the characters, rather than the car. This then cuts into our character literally falling into bed (from a great height). Moving away from the stereotypical ‘running away from the serial killer and falling over’ and into the world of indie horror and the unexpected gores that await. And as a movie buff, I can’t help but love the cleaver juxtaposition, shot types and use of sound/ music …or lack of. So if you are a media / film student this is defiantly worth a watch.
So one thing that we can all agree on , is that when you have a monster trying to kill you , it is always a bad thing to have a son with anxiety and a crazy sadistic mother. But with a kid that annoying who can blame her, “mum, mum, mum, mummy, mum, mum, mum”. However, I don’t think this would make you crazy enough to kill your own child.
So when the annoying child happens to find the only cursed book in the whole house, you can’t help but slightly hate him. If I saw a book that creepy, I wouldn’t keep reading. With terrifying illustrations and suggestions to go and kill some children, it really isn’t a suitable bed time story. It’s all a bit similar to the Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981), except Latin chants aren’t really a good read.
Even though Sammy is more unbearable than your average child, he is our hero in this tale. Yes, you know it’s bad when the fate of everyone else is in the hands of a 6 year but he is adamant on saving his mummy and that’s what’s important. He builds contraptions and gadgets to fight of the monsters and even tries to warn everyone but because he is 6 not many believe him… until it’s too late (insert evil laughter).
Despite being tormented by one of the scariest looking monsters in cinema. We are also reminded of the delicate nature loss and the dreadful though of being alone. For me , this is a great addition to the film by exploring controversy , rather than just ‘ it’s not a good idea to run upstairs when a killer is in the house.’ This is what truly separates a normal horror film from indie, a genre that all film makers should look at more often.
One thing this film does extremely well is build tension and trust me they take their time. With the odd creek in the middle of the night and the boy seeing things we can’t, the anticipation will kill you. With the first sign of horror not happening until 35 minutes in and all that is, is the book changing into something VERY disturbing, it is all rather stressful. But luckily for us we eventually get to see the killer 47 minutes in, and as a fan of modern horror, I am not used to waiting that long. And I can tell you now, when the film hits the 47 minute mark it is terrifying. With no music, creepy grey lighting and the mother going INSANE, it just adds to the horror. Then again I would go insane if I saw this…
However, if I was to change one thing about the film, I would suggest that the mother wouldn’t murder the dog. We may be ok with her pulling out her own teeth but please don’t kill an animal!
The film begins to reach its climax with just 20 minutes left. The Babadook possesses the mother and hunts down her son. Nothing is as horrifying as a mother trying to kill her 6 year old kid, a very clever and innovative 6 year old kid.
Unfortunately, “you can’t get rid of the Babadook” So what do you do when something you can’t get rid of ? Keep it as a pet of course! Yes the ultimate pet demon. Now that the dog is dead, they decided to have a pet Babadook in their basement. And just to represent how this is a ‘good’ ending they changed the colour scheme for a dark grey to a slightly lighter grey.
I would say that this is one of the most unique horror films I have seen in a while and it is that reason that I have made this my ultimate Halloween movie to watch.
How have you not seen this?
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