|Noah Wiseman & Essie Davis|
There's also the case of continuity errors and why some things are left unchecked. Yet, these are things that usually happen in every film and it's not the most abundant here. If there's anything else that doesn't make sense it’s the antagonist's motives. Clearly heard in the movie, the character states "give me the boy", but for what? What's the purpose? Some backstory or mythology would be appreciated for such an iconic figure. This is it for gripes though, the characters are likable and the audience will care for them and the situations they are put into - specifically dealing with sweet neighbors like Mrs. Roach (Barbara West) and the cautious Aunt Claire (Hayley McElhinney). Even The Babadook (played by Tim Purcell) himself is somewhat likable because of just how strange and demonic the character is and how he goes about scaring the living daylights out of this family. The method that The Babadook goes about doing his business is not exactly the newest of things but it certainly is effective.
Initially, The Babadook is introduced via bedtime story book that has pop-up figures and its own little nursery rhyme. However as the pages continue to turn, the images become darker and darker foreshadowing possible events. Mind you that's just the beginning. The Babadook is a creature that loves to play mind games. Its movement is rigid, makes cockroach or cicada-like sounds and its voice is raspy almost like its speech being choked out. The design is also something noteworthy too, resembling that of a scarecrow. The violence is not hefty either. There are a couple moments that look painful but nothing that is on the dismemberment level. Jennifer Kent's direction relies more on scaring her viewers by giving them minimal elements to work with. That includes just seeing things for a moment and then disappearing or focusing on a simple object that may have a bigger purpose. It's those kinds of scenes that can give a viewer chills because of the insecurity that it generates.
|The Babadook's book|
Rarely do mainstream horror films produce such chills when it comes to ghosts and midnight ghouls, but not here. It's unfortunate that it still has some problems either having a useless subplot or motivations left unexplained but that doesn't stop it in its tracks. With sympathetic characters, an iconic villain, unconventional cinematography, direction and music, this indie horror film surpasses several other horror properties popular studios have exploited.
Points Earned --> 7:10