The Babadook (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Babadook (2014)



Critic Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.

Movie Info

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her 'out of control' 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel's dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called 'The Babadook' turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he's been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son's behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real. (C) IFCmore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Jennifer Kent
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 13, 2015
IFC Films - Official Site


Barbara West
as Mrs. Roach
Tim Purcell
as The Babadook
Tiffany Lyndall-Knig...
as Supermarket Mom
Peta Shannon
as Eastern Suburbs Mom ...
Michael Gilmour
as Young Policeman 1
Adam Morgan
as Police Sergeant
Michelle Nightingale
as Eastern Suburbs Mom ...
Pippa Wanganeeh
as Eastern Suburbs Mom ...
Pippa Wanganeen
as Eastern Suburbs Mom ...
Lotte Crawford
as Kissing Woman
Lucy Hong
as Supermarket Little G...
Chris Roberts
as Kissing Man
Tony Mack
as Principal
Sophie Riggs
as Checkout Chick
Craig McArdle
as Young Policeman 2
Sophie Allan
as Fast Food Kid 5
Isla Zorkovic
as Fast Food Kid 2
Ethan Grabis
as Fast Food Kid 4
Annie Batten
as Old Woman in Corrido...
India Zorkovic
as Fast Food Kid
Charlie Crabtree
as Fast Food Kid
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Babadook

Critic Reviews for The Babadook

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (39)

The film has a solid grasp on the mutable, but ever-present pain of loss.

Full Review… | January 21, 2016
The Atlantic
Top Critic

The line between terrifying reality and terrifying fantasy isn't so much blurred as altogether obliterated.

Full Review… | March 6, 2015
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

This simple yet shiver-inducing tale, the auspicious feature debut of Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent, makes for one of the better horror movies of recent times.

Full Review… | March 5, 2015
Toronto Star
Top Critic

It presents grief as a demon, questions reality, and creeps out the viewer by making psychopathology seem like something that could happen to anybody.

Full Review… | March 5, 2015
Toronto Sun
Top Critic

At its heart, "The Babadook" is a story of mother and son, whose relationship ultimately determines whether they survive the demon - or die trying.

Full Review… | January 15, 2015
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

This isn't to say it's only about how disturbing it can be to be a mom; it's also not only about how difficult it can be to be a mom to a child who reminds you each day of your most dire trauma... The film is also about institutions that fail to serve.

Full Review… | May 23, 2016

Audience Reviews for The Babadook

The final sequence's sheer terror makes up for a couple of flaws throughout. The Babadook is a suspenseful, clever horror film that is driven by its ominous mysterious & shrouded figure which is inventive and modern for today's genre. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


Having everything that is missing from modern day horror films, "The Babadook" reassures us that even though the genre may be on it's way out, it is not quite there yet. Beaming with fantastic cinematography, every shot in this film has a purpose toward eeriness feel that it is going for. What really stood out was the genius editing style that cuts from the focus of the scene to something totally out of left field that contributes to the characters emotions. The story is also very powerful, as a book is found by a little boy, his mother reads him to sleep with it, only to bring a creature into the house know as "The Babadook." The deep meaning behind the creature is really the core of this story and by the final act, I was blown away at the originality of such a basic premise. Not only is this one of the best horror films in years, but it is also eligible for one of the best films of 2014 in general. My only complaint with this picture is that once it picks it's unique tone, it doesn't go too far beyond it, which I think was needed. Overall, a brilliantly executed horror film.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


From first time director Jennifer Kent comes a terrifying psychological horror story about what scares us, how we let it affect us, and what causes our fears. Most horror stories come from our own internal problems and fears, which is the basis for this story. Amelia (Davis) is a retirement home nurse who, long ago, lost her husband in a car accident the day she gave birth to their son Samuel (Wiseman). Her son is a very loud, disturbed, often inappropriate child who sees monsters every night, and in the light of day constructs weapons to kill them. His over-stressed, frail mother is at her wit's end with her son, and can't seem to find time to sleep or take care of herself. Essie Davis gives a powerhouse performance as the mother, coming off as a wretched former version of herself, and a possessed woman who is taken over by monstrous forces. Much like "Oculus" this film delves into horror with the ambiguity of its psychological origins, leaving us unsure of whether or not the events of the film actually happened. We remain unsure if this is a classic monster story, or Amelia is letting her son's delusions and her own, meld and evolve, to a point where she believes in monsters. This is a very subtle and yet terrifying film that also boasts some great concept art and gets its scares through good old fashion terror and not incessant jump scares. It reminds me of so many classic horror films, while also feeling fresh and new.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

The Babadook Quotes

Samuel: Momma I'm hungry.
Amelia: If you're that hungry then go eat your shit!
– Submitted by Michael F (7 months ago)
Amelia: Where did you get those fire-crackers?
Samuel: You got them for me on the internet.
Amelia: Well that's the end of the internet.
– Submitted by Jay T (11 months ago)
Samuel: He's my father! You don't own him!
– Submitted by Vincent T (12 months ago)

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