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October 2nd

The Babadook

Directed By: Jennifer Kent

Here is a film that has received a lot of positive buzz this past year. Receiving especially high acclaim from The Exorcist directed himself William Friedkin. So, being the horror nut that I am, I knew I had to give it a chance. I'm glad I did.

A depressed and troubled widow, Amelia, has raised her six-year-old son Samuel alone. It's extremely difficult for her because the kid is beyond troublesome. Constantly yelling, threats of violence and an obsession with weapons has driven her to her boiling point. One day a children's book appears on his bookshelf. She reads it to him...big mistake. The grotesque pop-up book details murder and mayhem for the young child at the hands of The Babadook. Throwing the book away doesn't help, because he has already been unleashed.

The first thing I noticed, besides how annoying this kid was, was the art direction of the house. How incredibly blue and grey everything was. It was striking how drab the interior was and how it matched her depression. Kent, the director, has cited Polanski and Lynch as influences. This film feels like an odd mix between Eraserhead and Rosemary's Baby. So those inspirations shine through here and it makes for a well done horror film.

Very few horror film rely on real genuine scares, they instead opt for the cheap jump scares that heavily rely on sound rather than sight. The Babadook doesn't really go that route. Thank heavens. It slowly builds the tension and releases the horror at the right moments. We see glimpses of 'him', like Bruce in Jaws, which amps up the fear.

I can understand people being put off of the film due to the kid. He does ruin the picture at times. I get that he is suppose to annoy, irritate and make the viewer want to inflict pain onto the poor lad, much like the mother feels, but there is a breaking point. He does a good enough job, but I totally understand where people are coming from in their dislike for the film because of his performance. The mother does a good job here as well. We feel tired like here throughout the beginning of the picture. Kent manages to switch the fear here. We fear for the mother, then we fear for the kid. It was an interesting move between characters.

With real scares, The Babadook is this years The Conjuring. Enjoy yourself....ba...ba.....DOOOOOOOK.