Following the traumatically violent death of her husband, Amelia, played by Essie Davis (The Matrix Reloaded) must now look after her only son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), whilst juggling a demanding job as a caregiver in a nursing home. The strain on Amelia is palpable and she soon develops a dichotomous relationship with her newly acquired parental responsibilities, at times embracing them, at times resenting them. But this inner turmoil is externalized by her son’s discovery of a new book. Having mysteriously appeared on his shelf, The Babadook is a creepy, gothic looking pop-up children’s book which will soon reek havoc on Samuel and Amelia’s docile family life. Soon life begins to imitate art and The Badabook starts to haunt the dreams and days of both mother and son.
Director Jennifer Kent, an actor turned first time feature director, brilliantly draws on old-school traditional horror techniques. Shunning the recent trend for excessive 3D and computer-generated effects, Kent makes a film to rival those of James Wan. Wan is the acclaimed director of The Conjuring and Insidious, who likewise has a penchant for old-fashioned sound effects and the power of suggestion. Kent has also been praised by film aficionados for her sharp references to early cinema - the book itself is a reference to George Melies’s 1900 short ‘The Magic Book’, a film that seems to be playing on repeat whenever Samuel watches TV.
The Babadook is clad in five star reviews and it seems deservedly so. Kent presents a film that explores serious themes of loss, grief and guilt, whilst at the same time making you jump from your seat. It won’t be one for the faint of heart.
|Various Locations | MAP
|Leicester Square (underground)
24 Oct 14 – 24 Jan 15, 12:00 AM
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