After rave reviews from Sundance and sweeping the horror category at this year’s Fantastic Fest, this feature debut from Jennifer Kent is the real deal.
“It’s in a word or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook.” After the brutal death of her husband, Amelie (Essie Davis) struggles to maintain control of her troubled six-year-old son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) when a two-dimensional monster from a mysterious pop-up book comes to life to terrorize her family.
This inventive spin on the home-invasion thriller is routed in the fears of children and parents alike, and by projecting the Babadook as an extension of grief, enables a horror antagonist to, for once, be a reasonable, additive element to the plot. From the sound design that enlivens every object with a deep thumping or high-pitched buzzing, to the wonderfully creative cinematography, to young Wiseman’s truly disturbing performance, “The Babadook” is the year’s must-see horror film.
9 out of 10 pointsReturn to CIFF 2014 Coverage
November 28, 2014 (USA)
1 hr. 33 min.
Drama, Horror, Thriller
Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Tim Purcell, Noah Wiseman, Craig Behenna, Cathy Adamek