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The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.
All Critics (228)
| Top Critics (43)
| Fresh (224)
| Rotten (4)
| DVD (3)
A deftly inventive and psychologically charged horror story that trades on the ways in which the prospect of maternal failure can be just as fearsome a boogeyman as any monster under the bed.
The film has a solid grasp on the mutable, but ever-present pain of loss.
The line between terrifying reality and terrifying fantasy isn't so much blurred as altogether obliterated.
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.
It presents grief as a demon, questions reality, and creeps out the viewer by making psychopathology seem like something that could happen to anybody.
At its heart, "The Babadook" is a story of mother and son, whose relationship ultimately determines whether they survive the demon - or die trying.
... a non-stop ball of tension from beginning to end, the acting is freaking amazing, the creature F/X are great. I can't even express how surprised I was by this movie.
The Babadook will stick with you. It is brilliantly done, imaginative horror that grips us where most of us live.
The Babadook...is a brilliant manifestation of grief.
The Babadook is an incredibly well-made movie, with each aspect of the film fitting neatly into an overall theme.
It had amazing acting, a creative storyline, and it still was able to give me the heebie jeebies. It's a horror film with a deeper meaning about how people deal with grief after the death of a loved one.
Silly name; very smart movie.
If the horror genre could be summed up with one pithy saying, I imagine it might be "it's out to get you", whatever "it" might be. With this interesting take, Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent (gasp! a woman!! In horror???) offers that one's own thoughts and feelings might be the source of the terror, unresolved guilt and malignant feelings, a vibe directly from the iconic "The Innocents". The creep and subsequent attack are worthy of the genre, especially the most horrible "am I dreaming this, is this really happening?!?" staple. Good stuff.
It is always a wonderful surprise to see an intelligent horror film with such profound psychological and emotional scope, making use of a rich symbolism to tell the story of a woman who succumbs to her own inner shadow and is forced to confront it as it takes over her sanity.
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
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.
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