When I walked into the theatre to see "The Babadook", I couldn’t help but think to myself that I was being completely sadistic. Admittedly, I am a big chicken. I love horror movies, but I usually watch them from the safety of my couch with a blanket ready to protect me and a stiff drink within arm’s reach but on this particular night I was in a sold out theatre. Leaving would be the ultimate walk of shame. I was trapped and I was scared much like Amelia and Samuel in the film, I had no escape. Fortunately, even though the next hour and a half was terrifying, it was also beautiful. "The Babadook" turned out to be an excellent film, one I greatly enjoyed. It takes place as Amelia (perfectly portrayed by Essie Davis) loses her husband in a violent accident. She and her son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) are trying to get by, but Sam struggles with an overactive imagination and is difficult to manage, a problem that is amplified one night when they stumble upon a creepy picture book.
Like the creature in the story, "The Babadook" is haunting. Jennifer Kent makes a resounding debut writing and directing her first feature film and sets herself as someone to pay attention to in the future. She is a master of establishing tension. Not a single moment of film is wasted, every detail contributes to the atmosphere or to the story. As the film opened and the imagery washed over me, I marveled at the beauty of the world Kent had created. The over exposed frames heavily contrasted with deep shadows show a worn house of exposed brick and wood. The house looks haunted before the Babadook ever makes an appearance. Amelia’s pallid skin, her hair always in a state of undone betrays her internal state as she tries to cope with her son’s struggles. Then there is the mysterious picture book that tells the Babadook’s story. It’s stark black and white art is what nightmares are made of. All of these elements set up the tension and I spent the entire first act anticipating the moment when I would jump out of my seat.
Read the rest of my review on Geekpr0n.com