Thursday, October 01, 2015
31 Days of Halloween - Day 1 - Movie 1
To launch this month's viewing, I decided to revisit a highly anticipated movie from last year that did not disappoint. The Babadook (2014) centers on Amelia (Essie Davis), a single mom, still morning her husband and trying to handle her increasing anxious and aggressively behaved young son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman). Samuel leaves her physically and emotionally drained, and causes her to become further and further isolated from the outside world, including her own sister.
If this weren't enough to cope with, Samuel's problems increase after the mysterious appearance of a disturbing pop-up book entitled, Mister Babadook. The book centers on a frightening bogey man figure determined to terrify the other characters in the story who go beyond simply representing Amelia and Samuel.
There is no slow burn with this movie. It assaults the viewer with Amelia's situation and Samuel's behavior issues right from the get go and never lets up, and would be as equally successful a horror film even if Mister Babadook never reared his frightening head. The Babadook himself, is a terrifying figure that never really shows itself in the film except in fleeting glimpses, and as a character in a silent movie as well as the creepy illustrations in the book. His voice is enough to supply all of the dread implied by his nearly invisible presence.
I highly recommend this film. The performances by the two leads are almost too convincing, and the film is filled with plenty of atmosphere and anxiety producing sequences that continually tighten the screws of the film's dreadful build up towards it's climax.