Amelia (Essie Davis) is just like every other single mother in this world. Trying to do her best while raising her son alone. Widowed while pregnant, Amelia struggles to balance work and the parenting of a very imaginative child Samuel (Noah Wiseman). Samuel is a bit of a handful, he’s rambunctious, creative and? Obsessed with monsters. When Samuel is expelled from school, Amelia assumes she has reached her breaking point. How very wrong she is.
When a mysterious children’s book shows up on their shelf, Amelia and Samuel have no idea what they have let in by reading it. The book – Mister Babadook tells the tale of how if it’s in a word, or it’s in a look – you can’t get rid of the Babadook. A prophecy that unfortunately for the two comes true and plummets their once semi-chaotic yet peaceful family dynamic into sheer and utter chaos.
Essie Davis’s performance as Amelia was nothing short of brilliant. From the moment she descends into madness she manages to invoke such pure and incredible emotions that it’s almost difficult to remember she’s just an actress. The pain, despair, frustration, and fear swimming around her expressions are intense and haunting, just one of the many reasons The Babadook is being hailed as one of the eeriest films made this year.
The perfect complement to the starring cast is the cinematography itself. The ability to capture the haunting imaginary shadows and vintage lighting beautifully contributes to the dark and sinister mood of the film. And perhaps the greatest part of this film was the ending – showing that sometimes we all have to learn to cope with our inner monsters in one way or another.
The Babadook is spreading like wildfire across the internet, being praised for being such a unique film, for its ability to define a whole new level of creepiness and simply for being flat-out terrifying. All of this praise is well deserved. The Babadook isn’t scary in the sense of making you jump, rather its terror comes from the sheer feeling of being unsettled from the moment the film begins. The Babadook’s ability to make you uncomfortable, to creep you out, and to make you gasp is unmatched by any horror film released this year.