Original Title: The Babadook
Director: Jennifer Kent
Genre: Drama, Horror
08.01.2020: This review was first published on 08.05.2018 and is being updated for a more complete review, together with the publishing of the YouTube Version.
World Cup Historic
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. I don’t care about the discussion of calling the sport soccer or football. I think it’s stupid and a failed attempt at making humor. Guess what?! It’s not funny anymore. Maybe it never was, get over with it.
I’m more used to saying football, but today, I will often refer to it as soccer because I believe that’s the more common term in Australia. Now let’s move on.
The Australian National soccer team was founded in 1922, and their federation is associated with the Asian Confederation since 2006 when they left the Oceania Confederation to have a better development of the sport.
While still in the OFC, the Aussie team beat the record of the largest win at the international level, when they beat American Samoa 31-nill. I know, it was American Samoa, but still, 31-nill?!
The Socceroos have participated in five World Cups, the best run being in 2006, reaching the round of 16. In 2018 they finished the last of the group, with one point.
After losing her husband, Amelia (played by Essie Davis) have troubles dealing with the grief and with the behavior of Samuel (played by Noah Wiseman) in his inability to properly socialize in school, parties, and family reunions.
One night, Sam asks her mother to read a book for him to sleep. They pick a pop-up book called Mister Babadook that at first seemed for kids, but later revealed to be very dark.
After the reading of this book, the Babadook creature start haunting them or could be only their heads, who knows, that’s the beauty of it. The thing is that the already troubled life of mother and son becomes even harder.
Babadook, Coming for Sure
The first thing that called my attention during the movie was how the child was annoying, such an annoying kid is rare to find. Once, I hired some people to do a job in my house, and they brought along a niece or granddaughter, whatever, that little girl was more annoying than Sam on The Babadook, but it’s the only one I can remember.
In the later stages of the movie, you come to care and even like Sam. I know I said it before, but when a child actor is that good, it makes me impressed. The little Noah Wiseman was only six when they filmed, and he is solid as hell.
Essie Davis was perfect from beginning to end. The fact that she didn’t get even an Academy Award nomination is disgusting, there is no way in hell that her performance was inferior to all the nominees.
I knew Essie Davies only from her small participation in The Game of Thrones in 2016, but that I watched previously than The Babadook. Every time she was on the screen, she was perfect, becoming one of my favorite performances ever.
The character of Amelia is also very believable, a grieving wife, who lost the husband when going to the hospital to give birth, so she seems to blame the son for the death of the husband.
The characters’ arc is very satisfactory. Both the main characters began in one place, and through everything that elapses in the movie, they reach a different point in their lives, concluding a cycle.
The characters and performances coming together with the great locations and sounds present an eerie atmosphere that helps enhance the horror experience portrayed in the life of this widow and her young son.
The cinematography was one of the praised things, even among those who didn’t like the movie. I have a weak spot for cinematography, so to me, The Babadook is really beautiful.
I loved the desaturate colors, yet, well-lit image, nothing of the way to dark shots that I hate. But what I liked the most was the camera movements, sometimes enhanced by the synchrony with the actors’ movements.
Analyzing the movie simplistically, it’s a horror with an iconic monster, but as everyone and their mothers have already pointed out, there’s much more than that when analyzing it symbolically.
The movie is about Amelia’s psychological condition after the death of her husband and how it is affecting her son and their relationship, I believe the monster Babadook represents this condition. It’s not very subtle to be fair.
I loved Babadook’s classic design. It’s simple, yet effective, and his laggy movements, very characteristic of stop-motion, which contributed to his uniqueness. The sound he makes… it’s eerie, disturbing, just amazing.
Mister Babadook transcended from the movie screen, in the real world, back when Tumblr was still relevant, he became an LGBTQ Icon after Netflix mistakenly listed it under the LGBT Movie subgenre.
There is also the pop-up book, what a beauty. The object that gives the kick-off for the movie was well thought and design by Jennifer Kent’s mind. I would love to have a copy of it, but it’s rare and expensive.
Everything in The Babadook makes you want more from Jennifer Kent. Her thoroughness with the aesthetics and the substance, a beauty that reminds a little of Under the Shadow, but even better.
Luckily for us, now there’s more from Jennifer Kent. The Nightingale was released in the second semester of 2018, I still didn’t watch it, but with Jennifer Kent directing and Aisling Franciosi in the leading role, I have nothing to fear.
The Babadook was a great experience to watch and to write about it. It worth watching it multiple times, not just to catch every detail, but also because it’s enjoyable. 9 Moons.