Kent blends Shyamalanian domestic terror with something closer to Michael Haneke or Lars von Trier. The result is punishing; a brutal psychological drama disguised as supernatural mystery. Davis, so raw & compelling, holds the film together, but the stylisation is interesting as well, with the monochromatic colours & minimalist design suggesting a genre variant on Haneke's similarly suffocating The Seventh Continent.
Kent REALLY created an intense atmosphere with that kid yelling all the time - it made me wish for Babadook to appear way earlier to kill him faster. One star for making horror by flipping the pages of a book; another star for the metaphor: but if it wasn't that contemporary need to use ultra-high-hd-feast - making everything bland, it could have been a classic.
Horror cinema has its share of terrifying parent figures and creepy children—but in The Babadook, which was sent to torment which? One joy of this psycho case study is how the answer keeps shifting. Another is its use of color, where only the dark pops. Whether it has enough story to fill 90 minutes is debatable. But it's creepy, emotional, and the heroine's resemblance to Mia "Rosemary" Farrow can't be coincidental.
"The Babadook" successfully synthesizes a bevy of notable influences, from German Expression to "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Repulsion," while still making its own singular contribution to the genre of psychological horror. The Caligari-esque pop-up monster may be the 'hook,' but in the end he's merely a device to talk about bi-polar disorder, sexual frustration, and a host of other contemporary maladies.
A psychological horror for horror fans. Unlike most contemporaries, Kent (thankfully) understands that horror does not just mean throwing in cheap jump scares at assorted points in the narrative. She's not just piecing scenes, characters, objects, and places indistinctly. She understands mood, crafting a bleak location that reflects the characters' internal pains. She paces it to match their growing anguish, using...
This movie is a breath of fresh air in the horror/thriller genre - horror with a message, I like it! The direction is very good as is the cinematography: it's very atmospheric and eerie and it feeds a sense of anticipation and dread. All of this is complete with stellar performances especially from Essie Davis and great character development.
Kent provides us with characters we learn to care about, and a mature vision of their psychological breakdown.
Then, it moves beyond the building of psychological authenticity into generic horror. What begins as a disturbing film exploring mental anxiety and human pain develops into a duplicit....
Could have been a masterpiece.
The main bulk of the film smartly uses horror tropes to explore the experience of psychosis resulting from PTSD. But this reading unravels in the film's closing scenes, which is a shame: it's a brilliantly realised concept that - oddly - is rarely addressed in the horror genre. Essie Davis gives her all as the exhausted mother, and Noah Wiseman's challenging, misunderstood son preys on every parent's nightmares.