We travelled far and wide to catch a glimpse of The Babadook yesterday. And by far and wide I mean Bolton, but that’s pretty far for someone from Widnes.
I love films, but I’m not a massive horror fan, mostly because I think the genre is littered with substandard crap, so when I hear a few reputable critics speaking highly of a film from the horror category it always peaks my interest. I don’t really like being scared, but I love the feeling of a well done horror. I can’t really explain it, so I won’t bother. So, where does the Babadook fit into my exacting criteria for an “enjoyable” horror movie? I guess it’s all a matter of your expectations and constitution towards the genre.
The Babadook is not the best horror film you will ever see, nor is it the best chiller or phycological thriller, but what it is is a breath of reassuringly fresh air, in what is otherwise the stale, regurgitated smog of modern popular horror cinema.
The Babadook is a low budget, low CG, minimal (but well) casted, “in camera”, well thought out, physical, tangible, concise peace of film making. It shows what decent lighting, editing and patients can do, instead of the cheap thrills, ADD editing and special FX extravaganzas, that are common place amongst most mainstream horror (and indeed any other genre) movies today.
I really enjoyed The Badadook for its natural and organic plot, that never really offers much in the way of reason or rhyme as to the why or how. I guess, like life and all things paranormal, shit just happens and sometime there’s no really reason or explanation for it.
I’m struggling to find the Badadook’s influences. It probably owes something to the first Paranormal Activity film, not just in the sense that there’s something unexplained running a muck in the house, but because it’s patient and well executed, dark and twisted, but not too over the top. It lets your imagination do the majority of the work, without force feeding you something that you should be scared of. This is not a brain dead slasher flick, but neither is it an intellectual affair either, it just sort of “is”.
I appreciate that this review has probably offered little in the way of describing The Babadook to those that haven’t seen it, but it’s one of those little gems that says something, without shouting, in a way that will move people to talk about it, it did for more anyway… Babadook dook dook!
Oh, and on a side note, whoever designed the Babadook book in the film needs their head testing – TWISTED!
“You can’t get rid of the Babadook”