Film Review: THE BARABOOK

THE BABADOOK
Written and Directed by Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhney

Based on her short film, MONSTER, Jennifer Kent was able raise the money for her first feature through grants from the Australian government and kickstarter. THE BABADOOK went on to become a great favorite at Sundance last spring, and it now appears to be headed for a wider release, although it is also available ON DEMAND.

Amelia’s (Davis) son, Samuel (Wiseman) was born on the day her husband was killed driving her to the hospital. She continues to mourn him, seven years on, and perhaps this grief has contributed to Samuel’s difficulties. He is overly fascinated with the macabre, given to tantrums, and in constant trouble at school.

One day, he pulls a book off his shelf that neither of them has seen before. THE BABADOOK is filled with ominous messages and a monster that merely opening the book appears to have unleashed. Attempts to destroy the book go in vain.

Alone in the world, except for her callous sister, Claire, and a kindly neighbor, the two continue down a path that makes them prisoners in their own house.

This is a scary, scary movie. I am hesitant to spell out more because it is better to go into it without my cockeyed theories. Form your own.

Highly recommended.

Patti Abbott