The Babadook (2014)


Pros
  • Being praised as one of the best horror movies of the past decade (easily the best of 2014)
  • The Babadook is more of a 'deep' thinking horror movie rather than a straightforward monster movie
  • Plays on the fears of future parents and their concerns of an uncontrollable child
  • The actual book in the film looks amazing, and the fact that it 'evolves' makes it so much more terrifying
  • Again, this is one of the more original horror movies of recent memory, it's mostly psychological, but part monster movie as well
  • The design of Mister Babadook is fantastic, very original and chilling (he's hidden just enough to keep his true form concealed)
  • Yes, there are some solid scares, and I'm not talking about jump scares, the amount of suspense the movie builds up is through the roof!
  • "You can bring me the boy! You can bring me the boy!"
  • This is the type of movie that makes great use of lighting and darkness, plays to our fears of what we cannot see, the things that lurk in the dark
  • The Babadook features plenty of strong themes (which is what makes it so great), most notably grief, loss, parenting and coping with such
  • Adds a ton of emotional layers to the classic 'descent into madness' & 'ghost story' storyline
  • The acting in the movie from Essie Davis and Daniel Henshall is incredible, specifically Essie Davis, she touches on just about every single emotion known to mankind and hits them out of the park
  • There are some very eerie sound effects and songs in the movie that kick up the intensity

Cons
  • I know it was the point of the film, but the child is super annoying like so over the top it's scary
  • The first 45 minutes of the movie may test some viewers patience because it's basically featuring one of the worst behaved kids of all time
  • I wish Mister Babadook had a bit more screen time, after all, he is essentially who we came to see
  • It uses the classic 'bugs' cliche (which might be my all-time least favorite horror trope)
  • (Not really a true con) But I'm afraid the movie will go over many people's heads who are expecting more of a traditional monster movie and miss judge this movie
  • The film really would have benefitted from an original score

Score: 9/10

The Babadook has to be one of the best directorial debuts of all time, it's simply amazing to watch the amount of skill involved in the movie with no previous experience. This is the sort of movie that focuses on a strong story which is built on a very strong emotional foundation, which is most likely why critics are praising the film. This certainly is not your typical monster movie, it's much deeper and intellectual than that, and that is why I enjoyed it so much. There are no straightforward answers, everything is left to the viewer for interpretation. I have to admit I was expecting a different type of movie, something that featured a mysterious monster wreaking havoc within the house (based on the trailer for the film), but was still not disappointed (I've been waiting for this movie for over a year!). The Babadook focuses on the relationship between a mother and her son, it's not your straightforward loving relationship either, it's much more complicated & wretched than that. I can't go too much more in depth than that without giving away too much of how the movie plays out.

 A lot of people have labeled this 'the scariest movie of all time', which of course immediately raises people's expectations and when that happens, almost never will a movie live up to that title. However, the movie is absolutely scary, Jennifer Kent knows just how to manipulate the darkness in the frame and only shows us part of the villain and lets our imaginations do the rest. Plus on a technical level, I think the design of Mister Babadook is amazing, he couldn't be more intimidating, especially since we only see the outline of his true form. Nothing in the movie comes 'easy', it's almost all up for us to decide and I think that is the brilliance of the movie, everything in the movie represents some sort of a metaphor. The Babadook is easily the best horror movie of the year (and actually one of the best movies of the year), and marks the start of a very promising career for Jennifer Kent.