Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sean Kelly

TADFF14: The Babadook

TheBabadookAmelia (Essie Davis) is a single mother, who struggles to care for her six year old son Samuel (Noah Wiseman).  Suffering from apparent behavioural problems, Samuel is obsessed with finding and killing monsters, which includes developing weapons.  One night, when asked by Amelia to choose a bedtime story, Samuel picks a mysterious pop-up book off the shelf entitled “Mister Babadook,” about a malevolent boogeyman.  After reading the book, Samuel begins to believe that The Babadook is coming after them.  While Amelia initially believes this to be more of her son’s delusions, strange happenings around the house causes her to realize that this boogeyman might actually be real.

The Babadook has a lot of hype around it, stating that the film is one of the most frightening films this year.  While it is probably not a film that is going to satisfy everyone, The Babadook is indeed a film that delivers some extreme tension.  The film opts to get under the viewer’s skin, rather than rely on jump scares.  With The Babadook often being heard, rather than seen, the film benefits greatly from this fear of the unknown.  Things get quite intense in the film’s climax, even though the film could have ended a bit better.

The Babadook is also a highly metaphoric film.  With Amelia being a single mother, whose husband died in a car accident, while driving her to give birth to Samuel, the film uses the horror to represent the stresses of raising a child.  This begs the question whether The Babadook is truly a real monster is merely something within Amelia’s stressed-out mind.  The film has enough to interpret this either way and I feel that The Babadook would highly benefit from repeat viewings.  Altogether, The Babdook is a very enjoyable, tense and chilling spook story.


Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).