Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Babadook (2014)

WARNING: spoilers of a sort ahead...

The Babadook is superficially a paranormal horror flick but delve just beneath the surface and we find a story about a woman with severe, untreated, post-natal depression caused by the guilt of her husbands death whilst driving her to the maternity ward. The death of the husband/fat
her creates issues for both the mother (sleep deprivation, hallucinations and paranoia) and with the son, who is fiercely protective of his mother and has a distinct lack of boundaries.

The performances of the two leads are terrific, especially Essie Davis's transformation from a caring, if sometimes over-protective mother, to a woman desperately in need of help, and finally into a monster intent on destroying, what she perceives to be, the cause of her husband's death. The main set of an old house complete with creaky floorboards, black and grey walls, flickering lights and antique furniture brings to mind haunted house / psychological horror films such as The Innocents, The Haunting and Gaslight. Added to this is sound design that further accentuates the Mothers descent into depression and paranoia.

A classy, tension filled horror film and a nail in the coffin of the shitty jump-scare movies of recent years.

Original letterboxd review

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