Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Babadook and The Persistent Tooth Ache

10 of 10 viewers "Liked" "Babadook" (Australia, 2014)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

KillDozer - "The boogie man is back. I am blown away that after all these years of being a Horror nerd certain films still find a way of creeping into your mind and giving you the chills. From the writing and acting to the cinematography, The Babadook delivers. A classic tale with modern twists. If you were a monster kid in your younger years you will automatically relate to the child lead played so realistically you would swear he must be that cool. The characters draw you into their lives and accomplish something rarely felt in today's films and that is the audience actually giving a damn about what happens to them. Keep a look out for the kick starter in place now to have the creepy pop up Babadook book from the film actually printed ! 5 stars collection worthy . I am really looking forward to whatever writer /director Jennifer Kent gives us next." - 5 Stars

Lord Battle - "Fans of Roman Polanski's apartment trilogy and Tim Burton's art design will love this film. Not to mention it's better than anything either of the previously mentioned directors have done in the past 10 years." - 5 Stars

Math Mage - "Suspenseful & surreal, a thrilling descent into madness, and a study of the stresses of raising a developmentally disabled child. Also the Babadook is a pokemon." - 4 Stars

Huntress -  Spoilers - "This was a dark, imaginative story that I didn't want to end! It was subtle in its creepiness but got loud and in your face at all the right moments. I loved the ambiguity of whether or not the Babadook was just the product of an active imagination for the majority of the movie, but the ending couldn't have been further from any guess I had about where things would lead. Still, I had a hard time with shadows and the dark after this one." - 5 Stars

Book Wyrm - Spoiler - "I have mixed feelings about this film. I really liked the kid and the family, I was really scared by the thought of this entire thing about reading a random book and finding a demon. I am always against animal deaths in movies so that alone took it one star down for me. I got very invested in the film and probably would have cried if I was alone during the exorcism part with the mom & child. I got really into their relationship & the mom's relationship with other adults. The movie definitely messed me up. The actors were amazing and that certainly helped the film." - 4 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "Babadook is the first film in a long time that kept me scared start to finish, I was kept on the edge of my seat. Actor Essie Davis goes above and beyond, her performance superb; portraying a wide range of believable emotion and expressions. Noah Wiseman has quite the career ahead of him as well. Along side outstanding acting, special effects and overall atmosphere keep the film immersive and terrifying. Touching on themes of depression and anxiety, director Jennifer Kent truly captures despair." - 5 Stars

The Impostor - "Original and tension filled, the Babadook shows a different take on hauntings and ghosts. The focus of its scares is more psychological and related directly to the emotions of the protagonist rather than just shocking the audience with jump scares over and over. The more of the  mystery around the Babadook unfolded, the more I became intrigued. Overall I really enjoyed this creepy old school horror film." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "First movie in a while I've felt deserved 5 stars, the atmosphere was generally very creepy, the special FX we're awesome, and the little kid actor was incredible. Australia has really become one of the best countries for horror movies." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

As reviewers begin to write more and more with each review I find myself at a loss for what to cover in this section. It would be easy to elaborate on previously mentioned ideas but I'd prefer to cover things overlooked (pun intended). This time I think i'll just address the elephant in the room which of course is the Babadook.

Since screening this film for the first time I have told countless people to go home and VOD this amazing horror film. And every time I got the same response, which of course was some mocking of the films title. A few of them were funny, a lot of them were equivalent to an 8-year-olds idea of clever. Which is exactly why the Babadook lives in a children's book. 

This film has everything it needs to be an amazing psychological horror, a single mom at the end of her rope, a misunderstood paranoid child, and plenty of reasons why things may or may-not be real. I myself always enjoy when a movie gives you good arguments for both sides, in this case the argument would be "is the Babadook real?".  I always try to say no first and for this film I would say that the stars aligned in the worst way possible; drugs, birthday/deathday, and a persistent tooth ache all came-together with the appearance of an evil looking children's book. 

My theory is Amelia has had a mental break down due to stress and drug use, so hear me out. Robbie loves his mom but doesn't respect her and he also believes the Babadook is real, so the first clue we get comes in the form of glass. The scene were Amelia and Robbie are eating soup and she bites down on a piece of glass could only be from Robbie putting it there and if you're wondering where he got the glass, he just broke a window earlier. Also there was only glass in her bowl and her son does practice prestidigitation. The reason I brought up all of the glass talk is because I believe at a certain point in the film Robbie starts slipping his mother the pills he stopped taking. I also think that she has been taking them herself (the dream-like dropping into bed after she brings the pills home indicates this). Now everyone forgets the tooth ache she feels the whole film and how it climaxes into her ripping it out of her mouth. I think this is important because it's a problem shes had for a long time and has ignored, but with everything seemingly falling apart right on the anniversary of her husbands death, she has taken the easy way out. Now bare with me on this one because it is purely speculative, but I think she started taking painkillers or some form of medication. Amelia could have got them from the same doctor that prescribed her sons pills or easily could have stolen them from her work, either way I think her mental break down wasn't solely her fault. All of this would then explain why she sees crazy things happening and tries to kill her son. I'm glad I finally got to think my theory through and see how much of a stretch it really is.

The Babadook is neither fake nor real for it's something we cannot see, it is the horror of humanity and the uncertainty of life. It's the problems we choose not to deal with and stuff inside, the problem is "You cannot get rid of the Babadook" you just gotta deal with him. This film succeeds in telling a heart warming story of a single mom and a terrifying tale of a cursed book.
- Lord Battle

At the time of this posting the pre-orders for "Mister Babadook" are still up, so hurry and get a copy!

The amazing poster used for this review was illustrated by the one and only Ghoulish Gary and there was a brief opportunity to buy a print from Mondo. Learn to check both sites often!

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

1 comment:

  1. Just thought you might like to know the boy's name is Samuel. The guy from work is Robbie. Nice analysis, otherwise! :)