Horror Movie Review: The Babadook

Let me start by saying that I love horror movies. That in itself should be apparent, based on the content of my site. I like my horror with supernatural elements, not too much blood or gore, and still a bit of mystery. For instance, you probably won’t find me reviewing “Saw” or the like. However, I had heard good things about a new Australian movie, “The Babadook” from a source I trust on horror movies, and I had to talk about it.

Outright, “The Babadook” is the best horror movie I’ve seen in years. Now, let me tell you that it starts as a slow burner. Jump scares are minimal, but perfected. The story follows a mother as she tries to live with her strange young son after her husband’s death. She is coasting through life, and her son’s behavior is getting worse and more bizarre.

Shortly after the film begins, she finds a book called The Babadook on her son’s bookshelf, with no publisher or author information. Upon reading the book to him, she releases a creature known as the titular Babadook who not only imposes a physical danger, but emotional and mental ones as well.

The story hinges on the relationship between the mother and her son, which is why this is one of the better movies I’ve seen in years. Their relationship, and her stress as a single working mom with a behaviorally challenged son, proves to be just as enigmatic as the Babadook itself.

A little bit of a spoiler, but my favorite scene is shortly after the mother destroys the book and it reappears. This is a common trope in horror movies, but is handled in a much more spectacular and eerie fashion. The use of a child’s pop-up book adds to the creepiness factor, and leaves you dreading yet needing to know what’s on the next page.

I give “The Babadook” 5 stars out of 5. I’m extremely harsh on horror movies, so this may will probably be one of the only 5 out of 5’s I write about. Absolutely great horror movie, and one of the best in years if not the past decade. Like I said though, know going in that it’s a slow burner and not jump scare after jump scare. The movie definitely focuses more on dread and atmosphere than jumps.

Let me know what you think!