Jennifer Kent’s 2014 horror film, The Babadook, follows the story of a struggling widow and her psychologically-troubled child. A mysterious top-hatted creature disrupts their lives after reading an eerie pop-up book. The Babadook’s appearance is classic- his cloak is reminiscent of Dracula. The film plays with the element of loss of control. It is difficult for the mother to deal with the loss of her husband. When possessed, she would vomit out her woes in anger. Kent also used graphic details such as Amelia unwaveringly snapping her dog’s neck. The book itself was terrifying, not just because of the choice of words, but the haunting illustrations. The film creates tension using sweeping camera angles and screeches instead of jump scares. The ending is what took the cake, mostly because of how unexpected it was. Was it to perhaps suggest that we need to learn to live with our demons instead of fighting them? The Babadook delivers horror with poignance.

Leave a Reply