The Babadook


The Babadook

Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 228

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,540


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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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) IFC

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Barbara West
as Mrs. Roach
Tim Purcell
as The Babadook
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight
as Supermarket Mom
Peta Shannon
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 2
Michael Gilmour
as Young Policeman 1
Adam Morgan
as Police Sergeant
Michelle Nightingale
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 3
Pippa Wanganeen
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 1
Pippa Wanganeeh
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 1
Lotte Crawford
as Kissing Woman
Lucy Hong
as Supermarket Little Girl
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 Corridor
India Zorkovic
as Fast Food Kid
Charlie Crabtree
as Fast Food Kid
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News & Interviews for The Babadook

Critic Reviews for The Babadook

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (43)

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.

Oct 5, 2016 | Full Review…

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

Jan 21, 2016 | Full Review…

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

Mar 6, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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.

Mar 5, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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

Mar 5, 2015 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
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.

Jan 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Babadook


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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


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.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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

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