The Babadook

November 28, 2014

Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman in THE BABADOOK.

Directed by: Jennifer Kent

Written by: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear

Rating: NR

Running Time: 93 minutes

Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut (she also wrote it), THE BABADOOK, is an Australian film that has a retro 70s horror production design that gives it an instant classic feel. Daniel Hanshell (think A CLOCKWORK ORANGE’s Malcolm McDowell as a child) is the young boy who swears the Babadook, a kind of Boogie Man, is living in their home. His single mother, played wonderfully by Essie Davis, is still reeling from the death of her husband the day her son was born, and has problems coming to grips with her overly imaginative son. The film smartly doesn’t go for the cheap scary thrills, and instead, through its methodical pacing—another reason it feels like a 70s horror film—builds to a great third act.

Grade: A-

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