Risen and Revisited: The Babadook (2014)
Hey there, Creepy Peeps! I know today should have been a Dissecting the Macabre, but as I mentioned in my video that went up today (watch that here), I decided to skip that for one week. The only reason for that is if I switched the schedule, the indie reviews for this month would line up better with the new indie horror releases this month. That’s all.
It’s time for another revisit and today we will be talking about The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014). You can watch my original review of The Babadook here:
In my original review, I was pretty much blown away by this movie and rightly so. I mean, if you look at my previous movie reviews on my channel before this one (Annabelle, Dracula Untold, Ouija), it’s easy to see why I loved The Babadook.
More specifically, though, I talked about how well Kent set up her story by showing us Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son Samuel’s (Noah Wiseman) very difficult and complicated relationship. Almost instantly, you feel something for these characters and you care about what happens to them. I also talked about the sound design especially concerning the Babadook himself. I remember watching this on my laptop with my good, noise-canceling, editing headphones and the first time you hear the Babadook speak, I got so scared I threw my headphones off and screamed. I was so startled, I had to take a 10-minute break before coming back to the film. Lastly, I talked about the themes of childhood fears of the dark and the monster under your bed/in the closet/etc. and how this is reflected in Amelia, as well. In her first encounters with the Babadook, Amelia hides under her covers or runs away, like a child would.
Nothing much has changed since I first saw The Babadook, except that I’ve now seen it about 20 times, so there’s that.
I still find this movie to be an amazing piece of cinema, even though some have found it to be overrated. I’m still totally impressed by the movie, I still find it scary, although I no longer scream in terror every time I hear the Babadook’s voice. I still think that Kent knows how to develop a character, guys, seriously. At any given moment in the film, you feel something for Amelia and Samuel. Maybe at first, you feel sorry for Amelia and you think Sam is a little shit, then maybe in the middle you start to hate Amelia a bit and you start feeling bad for Sam, then by the end you just want their lives to be normal again. No matter what, though, you feel something for them, and that’s what keeps me engrossed in this movie time and time again.
Watching the film now, I find that it has so many more layers to it that I previously saw. You could view this movie as a supernatural horror film about a single mom and her tumultuous relationship with her son and her grief over her dead husband on top of the fact that they are being haunted by a ghost/ghoul/entity. Or you could see the film as a metaphor for Amelia’s grief and depression over her husband’s death, which tragically coincided with her son’s birth. It works both ways, in my opinion, which makes it fun to watch each time.
If anything, I think I’ve got a deeper appreciation for The Babadook now than I did back in 2014 when I first saw it. So, what do you guys think of The Babadook? Let me know in the comments and until next time, stay strange!
You can watch The Babadook via Amazon here (this is an affiliate link):