Alternatives is the tagline to discuss entertainment outside of literature. It may encompass television, movies, games, and music.
Movies – The Babadook
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Horror
Duration: 95 Minutes
“If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t rid of The Babadook.”
I think the biggest realization I felt after watching The Babadook was its uncanny resemblance to how A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness) could have been under different circumstances. I’m not saying one is copying the other or vice versa. Both stories have a monster, yes. Both monsters are allegorical in nature when handling its core themes, yes. But the scope in narrative delivery is completely separated; through a different perspective if you will, and the joy in revelation is that the meaning is incredibly interpretative.
This movie is pegged to be a drama, thriller, horror; and while it is dramatic and [at times] thrilling, it is not your conventional horror movie with scare tactics and gore. Personally, I found The Babadook to be a dark, psychological drama piece that holds the thought of horror without ever having to reveal the nature of what the monster is. This is because, and without spoiling too much, the horror is both literal and allegorical in meaning. There are slow burning clues laden throughout the movie that propel the deeper meaning of what this movie tries to sell—and its these subtle nuances which drive the success of the film.
You’re probably wondering: what the heck is a Babadook? I can’t really answer that because I’m not truly certain myself. I do have theories about the name being a play on words combining baba and dook; the aggregate word/name being a metaphorical nod to all that is right and wrong concerning the intent in each scene. But until you watch this movie for yourself…I guess I’ll have to leave you hanging.
What I can discuss in greater lengths is that the takeaway from the movie is rad; especially for this debut director (Jennifer Kent). The acting is all-around on point. Amelia (played by Essie Davis) fleshes out the physically and mentally taxed role of Samuel’s mother pretty well. And for Sam (played by Noah Wiseman), well, he does throw down some excellent moments on why you might want to second guess having kids. Yet underneath all the normal yet poor behaviour of children being elevated (i.e. the whining and crying to say the least), this kid undeniably sells the role well. So something has to give—and this kid is going places. Oh, and what was with the fact that this kid had the craftsmanship and prowess to build those contraptions? That kind of went over my head a bit but it is what it is.
In terms of production, I think the only fault that stood out to me was the decision and direction for how The Babadook was audibly materialized. Literally, in some scenes it sounded like something off of a Jurassic Park movie. Maybe that’s just me though.
Overall, The Babadook was pretty cool. Nothing game changing in the genre but with the selection of horror movies this year, The Babadook was a good kind of different. And just maybe before I slept, the only thing in my mind was the name: The Babadook. It wasn’t that awkward. Nope.
I think a major reason I wanted to write this pseudo review was because of how similar this movie was to a novel I read.
I’m still debating if I should continue shooting out random reviews per television/movies/music/what-have-you since it’s not my usual content of discussion. Soooo we’ll see.