*** out of ****
The Australian made horror movie,The Babadook, is a breath of fresh air. It will give you the creeps like this type of film should, but it is also intelligent and character driven.
After the death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is left to raise her young son, Samuel (an effective but sometimes annoying Noah Wiseman), alone. Soon after reading a mysterious pop-up “children's” book, the boy begins claiming that the “Babadook” is coming to his room at night and terrorizing him. At first, Amelia dismisses it as Samuel just having nightmares. That is until she, herself, begins to feel an unsettling presence in the house.
Writer/director Jennifer Kent gives us methodical pacing and a constant feeling of dread throughout, then goes for sheer terror in the final act. There is also subtext here about the fears of motherhood, making this a perfect double feature with the equally entertaining Mama (2013), which stars Jessica Chastain.
The Babadook is currently showing at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center.