He was the sensation of independent horror cinema a few years ago and also one of the standard-bearers of that bullshit label that was “high terror” and that served, yes, to give visibility to a series of very interesting genre films and that they coincided more or less at the same time on the screens. Few, however, had as much impact as ‘Babadook‘, which has just landed on Amazon Prime Video and you have also in filmin.
‘Babadook’ was also one of the first films in which directors with many and very subversive ideas approached the genre with different and subversive themes and visual ideas. In this case, Jennifer Kent makes her debut with a story of brittle motherhood and a monster, the Babadook of the title, which adds in the same aesthetic the shock videos of Youtube, fantastic expressionist cinema and childhood nightmares.
We will meet in ‘Babadook’ a woman who tries to educate her six-year-old son after the violent death of her husband. The boy is terrified by a monster that appears to him in his dreams, and which she ends up identifying as ‘Mr. Babadook ‘, protagonist of a terrifying children’s book who mysteriously appears in her house. As the hallucinations become more vivid and continuous, the boy begins to exhibit problem behavior that completely overwhelms the woman.
‘The seed of the devil’ or ‘Let me in’ are some of the references that Kent mentioned as influences of his ‘Babadook’, to which perhaps an aesthetic coming from a particularly cruel and dark Tim Burton could be added. The result is a terrifying but also emotionally powerful film, all as a vehicle for one of the most unique creatures that has given the fantastic in recent years.