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the babadook

jenkins · 7 · 1230

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  • The Master of Two Worlds
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on: December 02, 2014, 02:33:18 AM

New York Film Critics Circle -- Best First Film: Jennifer Kent ("The Babadook")
Tomatometer 98%
"The brilliance of The Babadook" -- A.O. Scott

tweets from @WilliamFriedkin
1) I've never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK.
It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.
2) Psycho, Alien, Diabolique , and now THE BABADOOK.
3) Babadook is in very few cinemas. Only one in LA!
Cinefamily. I don't understand it. But it's now
Available to rent on iTunes.


Director: Jennifer Kent
Country: Australia

A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

it's pretty good?:
yeah it's a pretty good horror movie because it can never chill the fuck out, i swear to god, fucking buzzing and ringing and cricket noises in certain scenes, big horror movie music when appropriate. it's spooky stuff, not violent stuff, so i could sit and be creepified. it's something like we need to talk about kevin the conjuring + blue x the country of australia


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Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 09:54:39 AM
I also thought it was pretty good but have no real desire to revisit it or understand where this insane praise is coming from.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


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Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 10:30:48 AM
I thought it felt like a really boring episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and gave up halfway through.

max from fearless

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Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 11:26:15 AM
Thought it was a great little movie. Had me scared up until the end and I loved the ending, thought that it made it special. Also really liked how things aren't explained to death. Just a small film about death, grief and our own demons really. I think it deserves the praise it's getting and I can't wait to see what Kent does next. I'm excited about her. 


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Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 02:56:27 PM
The success of a horror film almost always rests on the strength of the symbolic link between the external threat and the internal psychological state of the protagonist (there are exceptions, of course; slasher films in particular tend to override this). As this movie proves, that symbolic link does not have to be subtle to work.

The filmmaking itself is a little trope-heavy, with the skittering villain, bugs crawling out of the walls, and toothache to symbolize something going bad inside a character, but the way it's all wrapped around this strong central conceit of a mother who has grown to resent her child so much that she becomes a literal monster to him, coupled with an absolute powerhouse of a performance by Essie Davis, makes it work.

Ignore Friedkin, dampen your expectations to achievable levels, and what you're left with is a really strong debut film from a promising filmmaker whom I guarantee will make something even better in the future.

max from fearless

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Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 04:13:34 PM
Polka - thank you for posting. You nailed the strengths and weaknesses of the film, and I agree that the film's use of horror trope's are slightly played out (the house is like a cliche horror movie house x 100,000,000) but what made it work for me was that the director never really showed her hand, or gave us any answers, until the ending when it becomes clear what the monster is or could be a manifestation of....I also think the two performances at the heart of the thing, they anchor the film (even thought the kid was driving me crazy) and some of the quieter moments (masturbation being interrupted, her repression erupting as she talks with her sister's friends, the last scene with the monster) also hit home for me...

Anyways here's Kent's short film "Monster" a sort of mini-Babadook....


And here's an interview with writer/director Kent..


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Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 04:56:16 PM
oh, i didn't realize this imdb trivia by myself:

Babadook is an anagram of "A bad book"