Six years ago, Amelia lost her husband one day and gave birth to a son. Samuel is now in his seventh year, but he sees monsters everywhere. One day, before going to bed, the boy asks his mother to read him a book he found about a terrible monster. From that moment on, his fears are physically embodied in the creepy Babadook.
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It would seem that a horror movie is the simplest movie that can only be. Take a couple of the ever-popular scary patterns, such as the creak of a door or a reflection in a mirror, place the characters in a new environment (preferably a move to a new place of residence) and come up with an ancient legend that you can fit absolutely any scenario. Honestly, really worthwhile horror is now less and less common. A genre-aware viewer can effortlessly predict the ending of every second film, and no plot twists make them look at their viewer with a dazed look. Yes, and everyone’s beloved “Annabelle” and “The Conjuring” also did not bring anything innovative to horror, well, except for the amazingly authentically recreated atmosphere of impending darkness and the phenomenally spectacular stereotypical horrors that I described above and which director James Wan elevated to absolute. Still, the nightmares ceased to be as scary as we wanted. The genre demanded the infusion of new ideas, new ideas and, finally, new blood. Therefore, I recommend paying attention to the picture called “Babadook”, filmed by a little-known Australian director and screenwriter Jennifer Kent. Believe me, her creation will definitely not leave anyone indifferent.
So, the plot of the film introduces us to single mother Amelia (Essie Davis), who lives with her six-year-old son Sam (Noah Weissman) in a small house. The woman was never able to recover from the tragic loss of her husband in a car accident, and despite the fact that many years have passed since the accident and her son is growing up, Amelia suffers from periodic bouts of depression that can soon bring her to a psychiatric clinic. As for Sam, he is also far from perfect. The boy is completely unbalanced, every now and then hysteria wakes up in him, and his fantasy pays special attention to all kinds of monsters that sit in closets, basements and closets. It even got to the point that Sam cannot sleep in his own bed, every now and then crawling under the covers of his mother, because in his opinion, it is much easier to defend against the forces of evil that way. One day Amelia decides to read her son a bedtime story in order to put him to sleep, and get enough sleep herself. And the chosen book turned out to be a children’s horror story called “Babaduk”! Horrible black and white pictures and completely gloomy text forever entered the memory of both Amelia and Sam. From now on, something mysterious has settled in the house of heroes, which is getting stronger every day. And the more Sam and Amelia resist him, the stronger it becomes …
Whether there is mysticism in this film or not is, of course, a very difficult question. But much stronger feelings in the film of Jennifer Kent are played out by the family drama, which was simply incomparably played out by Essie Davis and Noah Weissman. The main character of the film, Amelia, appears before us as a very tired woman, unable to properly perform her work duties, and communication with her son still does not improve. Amelia is not so old already, but she does not have the strength to drag out her life in a positive way. Almost all of her thoughts concern exclusively her husband, whom she loved more than anything else and who died exactly before the birth of Sam. It is quite natural that somewhere in the corners of her soul she blames an innocent boy for the death of her husband and her similar attitude leaves its mark on Sam himself. All six years that they have been living together without the head of the family is a series of constant hysterics, misunderstandings and aloofness. The heroine relives the events of that tragic day every night and tries to forget herself. But the closeness of his son, sexual dissatisfaction and lack of sleep in the end brings the catastrophe closer. And the notorious monster from the dark, Babaduk, only becomes the cause of the tragedy, which sooner or later had to happen in the house. A kind of reincarnation of the heroine that takes place in the second half of the picture simply amazes Essie Davis was able to play so emotionally and wildly that one really wants to believe in her psychosis. And you are afraid of her much more than Babaduk himself, who, by the way, that is, he is not. But, to be honest, this is not so important when wildness awakens in the plot, which you would not expect from a pious woman-director (Svetlana Baskova and her “Green Elephant” do not count).
As for Sam, he is in no way inferior to his mother in terms of the intensity of passions. At first, the boy appears to be clearly mentally disabled. His endless screams, mother’s confrontation and inappropriate behavior in public cannot but annoy. It seems that Sam’s true place is in a specialized dispensary and it is not possible to understand why Amelia did not send him there. However, over time, we get to know the young hero much closer and understand that all his behavior is quite conscious and he, like his mother, is unable to survive the death of his father, whom he did not know. In addition, all his obsession with monsters has one basis – Sam at all costs is trying to protect himself and his mother from evil. And, as it turned out, evil can come from a completely different side, which Sam did not look at. It is interesting that the image of Noah Weismann also undergoes a radical transformation in the second half of the picture. But, as for me, Jennifer Kent made a little bit of the wrong emphasis and the reasons why Sam becomes more adequate could be much more thoughtful.
The general atmosphere of “Babaduk” is burdensome. The film seems as crazy as its characters are. Almost all the action takes place in one dark house. Therefore, associations with such famous hermetic thrillers as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining or James Wang’s Saw immediately come to mind. But Jennifer Kent’s paintings leave no less pungent aftertaste after viewing than recognized masterpieces. Babaduk is very difficult to describe. It’s not even a horror movie, like a family drama in which all boundaries are demolished. It is difficult for the viewer to empathize with one of the heroes, but it is also impossible to hate. There are not very many truly frightening moments in the film, but those that do have the desired effect. But, again, where strong emotions evoke the secrets of the human mind.
As a result, I would like to say that Babaduk is an author’s horror film that does not count on a wide release at all. And by this, he is valuable for fans of the genre. Jennifer Kent decided to make an ode to the family drama interspersed with the paranormal and her tape looks very difficult. Of course, in some places there are innuendos, the depth of the characters’ characters and the informativeness of certain moments could also be much more pedantic, but still “Babaduk” leaves a memory about itself that you cannot easily get rid of. And if you are waiting for another pointless horror entertainment for the evening, then this is clearly not the option.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (64.9 Mb/s)
Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0