Babadook creates true horror for audiences

Jeremy Ashton, News Editor


The Babadook is a horror drama starring Essie Davis and Daniel Henshall. The story revolves around a mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), and her son as they cope with the violent death of their husband/father. Robbie (Daniel Henshall), Amelia’s son, is plagued by the fear of a grievous monster lurking in the shadows of their home and Amelia struggles to work through the repercussions of her son’s fears.

The film starts as a family drama, with the newly widowed Amelia adjusting to her life as a single mother. She tries to endure the trauma of personal loss while maintaining her functionality to provide for her son. The plotline slowly transitions into horror as Robbie’s fear of a monster grows and Amelia becomes more aware of its sinister presence.

It was written and directed by indie filmmaker Jennifer Kent, and was first released in Utah during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, with an official theater release date on October 28th. During the Sundance Film Festival, the movie gained a lot of attention from viewers and positive reviews from critics.

Unlike many recent horror movies that are either too predictable or too impersonal, The Babadook’s slow progression lets viewers get a more personal connection with the characters, which ups the tension and fear because of a shared mental state with those who are actually experiencing it. Instead of relying on jump scares or gore to incite fear, The Babadook uses connections and an ominous atmosphere to make certain scenes pull strings.

Obviously, this film follows the “indie film” methods of filmmaking. People uninterested in slower-paced horror dramas with an orange-ish tint probably won’t get much joy from watching this, but it’s highly recommended that people give this one a chance. It has a worthwhile plotline, beautiful cinematography, and the haunting tone that is a rarity in its own genre.

This is the kind of movie that would truly make children, and even some adults, afraid of the dark for at least a few weeks. October is the time for terror. Instead of rewatching the Paranormal Activity series and making fun of its downhill progression for another year, people looking for a good horror movie should watch The Babadook.