Julian's Judgment: The Babadook

"The Babadook" (2014), an 'indie' horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent, stars Essie Davis as Amelia, a widowed wife trying to raise her annoying/bratty son who can't stop babbling about the Babadook, a mysterious supernatural entity which plagues their house. This review contain spoilers.

"The Babadook" as a movie happens when you have a strong horror concept, ok execution and excellent casting at your disposal. Throughout this film, I wanted to see more jump scares from the Babadook, but ended up disappointed by the overall restraint from director Kent. She chooses to focus on the annoying kid and distraught mother more than the titular character, which for this film left me desiring more than what I got, much like the first Paranormal Activity. Then the ending happens, which left too many ambiguities to be completely satisfying.

Besides these negatives, the Babadook does surprisingly well at providing reasonable character development for the mom and kid. Like I said, the Babadook is underutilized, but when it does comes on screen, the jump scares are quite rewarding. The underlying creepiness of the film keeps your interest the entire running time, though the classic horror cliches (the family owns a dog) remind you this film won't stray too far into uncharted territory. Not every film needs to be revolutionary, and the Babadook succeeds in its simplicity and well-done graphics/technical prowess.

Overall, if you're looking to stay up late at night and be entertained by a solid horror film, "The Babadook" will certainly delight. Just be aware that there's a kid who's sole purposes is to be as annoying as humanly possible. Also, watch for the sake of Essie Davis' acting - she's great!

Grade: B