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The Babadook Review (Toronto After Dark) (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Sep 15, 2013
Real Name
Ben Mk
The final film to play this year's Toronto After Dark Film Festival was the Australian chiller The Babadook, the impressive film debut from writer/director Jennifer Kent. It's been garnering plenty of buzz since its debut at Sundance earlier in the year, and rightfully so. Although the premise -- about a widow (Essie Davis) and her young son (Noah Wiseman) who are terrorized by a malicious supernatural force called the Babadook -- sounds like usual horror movie territory, the way the film plays out is sure to surprise moviegoers.

From my Toronto After Dark review:
Davis is Amelia, who lost her husband in a car wreck as they drove to the hospital the night her son, Samuel (Wiseman), was born. Now, nearly seven years later, she still can't bring herself to give Samuel a proper birthday celebration, the emotional trauma exerting a constant strain on their relationship. Meanwhile, Samuel isn't making the situation any better. Always obsessing over monsters and magic, he's taken to crafting homemade weapons to defend the family home against imaginary intruders. The tension comes to a head after Samuel pulls a mysterious book — entitled "Mr. Babadook" — off the shelf one night, and Amelia begins reading it to him, unknowingly inviting its title character to torment their lives.
Unlike many genre entries these days, The Babadook relies neither on jump scares nor gore to frighten audiences. For although the premise seems like the ideal set-up for Nightmare on Elm Street style storytelling, Kent takes the movie in another, equally unsettling direction altogether. Focusing its attention inward, much of the terror she paints on-screen is psychological, rooted in Amelia's fragile psyche; which isn't to say that the sight of Mr. Babadook himself — an amalgamation of Nosferatu's Count Orlok, Dark City's Strangers and Freddy Krueger — won't give you the shivers. But when it comes to lasting impact, it's Davis and Wiseman's performances that will haunt you long after the end credits roll.
4 out of 5.

Ronald Epstein

Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 1997
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
Watched this and was very disappointed that the film didn't live

up to the hype.

I was warned by my brother who had seen it weeks earlier that I

would probably not like it.

The last real scary movie that I saw was The Conjuring.

This film was a walk in the park compared to that. With all the

intended scares this film had to offer, each of them fell completely flat.

Never did I feel emotionally moved by the events that happened. While

I truly wanted this film to scare me, I never once felt a feeling of fright nor


Hope this film fares better for others in this forum

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