October 6th: Best International English-Speaking Horror Film
Taken from my 2014 review:
The Babadook: The Best Horror Film of 2014 that You’ve Never Seen
Mister Babadook is a pop-up book discovered in Amelia’s house six years after her husband, Oskar, died en route to the hospital. The day Oskar died was the day their son, Samuel, was born. Amelia still grieves. And Samuel is odd. Only the neighbor, Mrs. Roach, seems to like him—including Amelia.
Samuel believes in monsters. He creates primitive weapons to keep them at bay. After reading Mister Babadook, however, Samuel fears this new bogeyman has taken over the family home. The Babadook is this year’s best horror film.
This highly anticipated horror movie started as a short film, Monster. Through online campaign funding, the movie was extended to full-length. It debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Currently in limited American release, it can be rented through various video on demand services.
More of a psychological thriller, The Babadook follows grief-stricken Amelia, played by Essie Davis, as she becomes possessed by this shadow figured bogeyman. Davis shines. Equally impressive is Noah Wiseman’s portrayal as 6-year-old Samuel. Samuel seeks to protect his mother.
The film is very Hitchcockian, although the official website likens it more to Polanski. Both were great directors in this genre. Writer/Director Jennifer Kent employs minimalistic camera techniques and little background music. Absent are the cheap horror tactics of slasher films. And this is appreciated! Furthermore, the ending is more realistic than recent horror films, thus setting up the potential for sequels. The Babadook will be a franchise worth watching. Every horror film aficionado must see this film. Every budding horror film writer should take notes and see that there is more to horror films than graphic violence. Horror movies can have a plot and great actors.
Jennifer Kent has created one wicked creature. The Babadook creature is more than a children’s book. He can be anywhere. The pop-up book is simply sinister. Fans had the opportunity to purchase the pop-up book. Bet they’re a hot collector’s piece now!