Friday, May 1, 2015

The Babadook, It's Coming....from Australia

The most frightening aspect of 2014's "The Babadook" is the prospect that there might not be a monster.  Usually that is cause for relief, but in this horror film from Australia, what evil man is capable of trumps the horror monsters can inflict.  Jennifer Kent has created a masterpiece in this dark tale of evil that besets a widow and her seven year old son.  Essie Davis plays that widow, and her performance is shocking.  After the final credits are completed, you will not be able to get this film out of your mind.
Seven years ago a horroble car accidents results in the death of Amelia's husband.  The wreck occurred as the two of them were on the way to the hospital for the birth of their son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman).  Now, Samuel's every birthday will fall on the anniversary of his dad's death.  Are we in fact molded by our traumatic childhood experiences?  Uh oh.  Now in first grade, Samuel is convinced monsters are on their way to kill him and his mom.  This anti-social behavior results in his school segregating him from the other students.  More behavioral problems from Samuel result in Amelia having problems at work and being isolated from any kind of support network.  Now all alone, and vulnerable, ominous circumstances begin to rule the day.  After finding what appears to be a children's book called "The Babadook," Amelia begins to read it to Samuel.  Uh oh!  This book is not quite on the level of Dr. Seuss and chronicles a bloody future for Amelia's broken household.
Samuel begins to see the horrific Babadook, though Amelia cannot.  Now Amelia must deal with frequent and uncontrollable fits of horror from Samuel.  Totally at her wits end, Amelia begins to unravel.  A second reading of the demented book reveals some very terrifying prospects for Amelia and Samuel.  But what exactly is going on?  Is an evil force invading this home?  Or...even more frightening, is Amelia succumbing to maniacal insanity?  We watch this film from Amelia's point of view, and every social and societal institution becomes an ominous and horrific threat to Amelia.  Then, the invasion moves into full force, not just of the house, but also of Amelia.  The final 40 minutes of this film are shocking and unsettling, and you won't be able to turn away.
 Ms. Davis' performance is fantastic.  Though this is a monster movie, of sorts, the film centers on Amelia.  Is she a desperate mom, protecting her son?  Is she losing it?  Amelia has to be one of the most difficult roles to have pulled off in any modern horror story...and Ms. Davis did it flawlessly. Available on Netflix, "The Babadook" will absolutely scare you silly.

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