Thursday, January 1, 2015

Jason versus The Babadook

There's been a lot of buzz about Jennifer Kent's debut feature The Babadook, a dark tale of a tormented mother and son. But tormented by what? That's the question they, and us the audience, are handed early on in The Babadook. Is finding out worth the watch? Stick with me!

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

Renowned director William Friedkin believes The Babadook is the scariest movie ever made. In some ways he's right, and others he's wrong, in my worthless opinion. Kent's movie isn's as viscerally terrifying as John Carpenter's Halloween or James Wan's The Conjuring, but it's certainly spooky, with a few effective chills.

Where the flick is balls out scary is from a parental perspective, particularly if you, as a parent, fear something is wrong with your child. The Babadook is a metaphor for those first few sleep deprived months after a baby is born -- especially if he or she has a health problem or is colic --  and the flood of emotions and fears that come with it. This includes some not to "responsible" thoughts that creep into your sleep-deprived mind. And that, folks, is the scariest thing a human being can face.

Yeah, I get that the kid in this is six. Deal with it.

Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman are brilliant as mother and son, and Kent knows how to stage dramatic and frightening moments. As for The Babadook? Oh yes, he/it does make an appearance or two, and the scenes are effective.

The Babadook is a great first film, and a masterful horror story. It's also one of the best flick of 2014. See it! Good!

As for what this review means for the future of The Basement? I've watched a couple of dozen movies these last two months, and this is the first time I felt compelled to write about one. Take from that what you will.

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