Friday, April 17, 2015

The Babadook 2014

Very sad (all good ghost movies are sad), grim ghost like movie with dabs of horror mixed in which tells the story of a mother trying to raise her troubled seven year old son by herself.  The husband and soon  to be father was killed in a car accident on the way to the hospital where she gave birth to her son Sam who is facing deep problems in his young life including  his uncelebrated birthdays which is the day his father died. He is in trouble in school, has no friends and is prone to scary out bursts and tantrums. His mother Amelia who works as a nurse in a senior home, is also on the edge and tries her best to take care and comfort her troubled son. Now we come to The Babadook, which is a pop up book that appears one night on Sam’s bookcase and is read by his mother to him, which prompts fear and anguish for both of them. This is a creepy thing, this Mr. Babadook monster who is a mixture of horror and magic, (magic also plays an important part in the film as do movie clips and television) and is soon wrecking havoc on them. Is this real or imaginary? Clear influences are Polanski and Kubrick but the new director Jennifer Kent whose first film this is brings her own vision and imagination to it. Also important to the film’s success is the riveting performances of Essie Davis as the mother and Noah Wiseman as the boy along with the very good and impressive art direction especially in the detailed house that they live in, and the sharp atmospheric cinematography. A note, a warning and spoiler. There is a cute dog in it who doesn’t fare so well. Animal lovers beware but all others see this one.


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