Time to Remember
The Babadook is an Australian flick written by first time director Jennifer Kent. It tells the story of Amelia (Essie Davis), a widowed single mother still tying to recover from the tragic loss of her husband 6 years earlier on the night of her sons birth. Frazzled nerves and medication lead her to basically sleepwalk through her job as a nursing home caretaker (her job being ironic because she can't even take care of herself). Her son Robbie (Daniel Henshaw, who has an honest, non-actorly approach to his portrayal ) seems emotionally scarred as well. High strung (to put it mildly), the boy is prone to screaming fits and escalates to violent outbursts that put anyone around him at great risk. He builds makeshift weapons for "protection" against unseen monsters and gets in trouble for bringing them to school. He suffers from night terrors, and after Amelia checks all the usual hiding spots for things that go bump in the dark, he climbs into bed with her.This messes with her sleep, and she resorts to hiding under her covers to block him out as well as the dawning light of day, sleeping later and later.
The boy is also obsessed with a red leather bound pop up book that he insists his mother reads to him. It starts innocently enough, but the as the book progresses, it becomes apparent that it is unsuitable for children. She ends up tearing up the book and throwing the remains away, but as with most books with dark magic, once the words are spoken aloud, they cannot be unspoken, and evil is unleashed. The mother is now seeing and hearing things, and as her sanity unravels from her "haunting" by the Babadook, the tables are turned and the boy becomes the sympathetic character.
Things go downhill from there. I won't spoil anything here, but this movie gut punches you and hits on several primal fears.
The great thing about this movie is its examination of this fractured relationship between Mother and son and leaves you questioning what is real and what is imagined. Well acted, tightly written, and strongly directed , The Babadook is a must see if you're looking for an intelligent scary movie that delivers with the chills.
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