The Babadook Movie Review

Updated on October 30, 2017

I like this movie because I hate this movie. Let me explain.

*SPOILER WARNING*

I am going to give away MASSIVE spoilers for this movie. DON'T read this if you don't want it spoiled. You have been warned.

The reason why I like this movie, same as with The Shining and with most good horror movies, is that they are almost painful to watch. This movie is barely more than an hour and a half, but it feels like three. The eeriness and creepiness and scariness drags out like an ever-rising musical note, not knowing what will happen as you're frozen to your seat (literally) with your eyes glued to the screen, not being able to turn away, or Mister Babadook will be right there when you look. And that's what a horror movie should feel like to me.

The plot is simple enough. A widowed single parent is raising a child on her own. After they read a children's book named "Mister Babadook," the Babadook comes to life to haunt them.

That's it really. Not much more to be said about the plot. But everything else is pretty much spot-on. The acting is incredible by the mother and the son. You can feel the sour chemistry between them with Amelia's tired, pale face and Samuel's actions. Essie Davis (Amelia) really portrays her character incredibly, her face being perfect for this role; pale, lumpy, and incredibly tired. You totally accept her as a villainous person when the time comes. Even Noah Wiseman (Samuel) is pretty solid, considering some child performances can be dodgy. His descent into "lunacy" is totally believable.

But enough about that, let's move onto the scariness. And WOW is it scary. Probably the scariest I've ever seen. And the thing that really impressed me was that it was very unconventional in it's horror. Of course, it used some typical tropes (a few jump scares, some freak outs and loud yelling, and gory-for-the-sake-of-gory stuff), but there were two things I picked up on the struck me.

Huge props to the director, he did very well with his $2,000,000 budget. The two things I noticed were 1. Stop-motion style 2. Strange (but good) lighting.

For the scenes with The Babadook monster in it, the monster did not seem like a real person, but it looked more like a claymation figure, in a good way. It really added onto the eery fakeness of this movie. Everything is so ethereal and dream-like, with all the colors seeming to almost melt together, especially Amelia and her surroundings, with her pale face, pale dress, and usually pale walls. The director's use of muffled sound makes everything feel overwhelming. The jittery motion of The Babadook just wraps the scary present up with one creepy bow tie.

And secondly, the lighting. The way this movie is lit is extremely hard to explain., I'll try my best though. Imagine at some amateur stage play, and when some single light shines on a character from an angle, and only a portion of them is lit. That's what a lot of this movie is like. It's hard to explain, but it's very good.

And this movie is SO VERY scary. As I said, this movie is painfully dragged out, making everything so realistically terrifying, so whenever the monster really shows up, it takes your breath away.

Now, you've heard nothing but praise from me so far. And I mean it, most of this movie is outstanding. There's just one thing holding me back from giving this movie a 10/10. And it's the ending.

*MAJOR SPOILER WARNING*

I AM LITERALLY ABOUT TO RUIN THE ENDING TO THIS MOVIE. DO NOT READ AHEAD IF YOU PLAN ON SEEING IT!

OK, so the ending of The Babadook goes like this. After Amelia pukes the Babadook out of her (yeah), it drags Samuel up to her room, where it has frequently shown up. Amelia and The Babadook have a confrontation, consisting of her, and The Babadook, covered in shadows. The Babadook shows Amelia's dead husband repeat the words he said to her before she died, and then slices his head off. Amelia yells at the Babadook to "Get out of my house, you are trespassing!," and the Babadook makes a loud noise, and then...

Cut. Straight to Amelia happily gardening. Samuel collects worms with her, and puts them in a bowl. Amelia goes down into their forbidden basement, where she, to make a longish story extremely short, feeds The Babadook the worms. She had apparently... become friends with the Babadook.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love twist endings. The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, Psycho, and pretty much every Christopher Nolan movie are some of my favorite movies of all time. But the difference with this ending is that it's not just a twist, but it is also smart for the sake of being smart. I like "twists" like in Fight Club (FIGHT CLUB SPOILER ALERT) when it is revealed that Tyler Durden is imaginary, because you can put the pieces together yourself. I do not like "smart" endings, like in The Babadook, where you have to do what I did. Because when you have that moment of "it does make sense that Tyler is the narrator!" you feels mart, and satisfied. When you have to read several articles over the course of the day to finally understand what the ending might be about, it leaves me feeling stupid, and unsatisfied. I can't knock it too much for being smart. As it turns out, The Babadook is a representation of grief, and the ending is Amelia finally conquering the grief of her husband dying. Sure, it's clever, but the ending of a movie is the thing your audience will remember most after leaving the theater (or in my case, my seat), and when your audience is stupidly confused, it leaves a sour taste in their mouth.

If you were to ask me "how would I end it?," I would say I have not the slightest idea. But that's not my job. I understand that it is tough to come up with a good and unique conclusion for such an exhausted genre. The writer did his best, and sure its smart, but it left a sour taste in my mouth.

Overall, I give this movie an

8/10

An amazing movie only ruined by an unsatisfying conclusion.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)