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Movie Review: The Babadook (2014) and The Art of Noise

Posted on the 02 September 2016 by Kandee @kandeecanread
Image result for the babadook poster
The Babadook (2014)
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel HenshallDirected By: Jennifer KentWritten By: Jennifer KentRelease Date: November 28, 2014Rating: A+
Summary: After reading from a mysterious children's book, a recently widowed mother and her son are stalked by an evil entity.
My Thoughts: "Ancient life was all silence..." People lived quietly and things were peaceful, that is, until the creation of machines in the 19th Century. It was then that noise was born. Noise in film is the interruption of silence, the emphasis on a certain feelings and emotions portrayed within a scene and something that when loud enough can cause enough ruckus to change the tone of an entire movie. 

And this goes for The Babadook, which is quite a quiet film and while what we have here is essentially a horror movie, it's more so a gripping drama about a mother and son and the horrors of what losing someone can do to a person. The Babadook, while marketed as a monster movie, is not a monster movie because it signifies the monster as the scariest thing a person can live with; not some giant top-hat wearing creature, but the monster that is within us, one we can't really see: depression."If it's in a word, if it's in a look...You can't get rid of the Babadook." This is the movie's tagline. Grief is a horrible thing and it plagues our main protagonist, Amelia, (Essie Davis) as her husband is killed while driving her to the hospital of have her son, Sam (Noah Wiseman). It's in his name, it's in her son's face. It's in everything he's touched which she's conveniently locked away in the basement and she can't get rid of the essence of her husband and slowly that depression overcomes her and manifests itself into what her and her son know as "The Babadook." And again, you barely see The Babadook, but its the implication that it'll come..the implication that it's lurking behind you or that it's in your home and that's what drives Amelia's fear. Everything in her house besides Sam's ruckus is quiet...We hear the creaking of the floorboards, the shuffling of the characters' feet, the turning of the pages of the children's book as it become more-and-more terrifying. With small sounds like this, as a viewer, we're put on the edge wondering whether or not this mysterious creature is going to pop up out at us and it associates simple things, like taking a nap, that don't seem frightening that end up actually scaring us to actually terrifying noises like that dreaded DOOK, DOOK, DOOK and while we don't get to see the monster in action, it's these sounds and our wandering imagination that creature the tension needed to keep us watching. It turns the sad somber scene of Amelia moping around her house into one that has us squinting the shadows the film's dark cinematography to see if maybe ,just maybe, we can catch a glimpse at this creature.And it's in things like this that explain why the movie is just that good. It's a challenge of a film. It's a film told more via implications than what's obvious to the eye and one told with impressive psychology. The film knows what we're used to in horror and doesn't give us cliche horror, but the complete opposite. It's unconventionality is key to it's storytelling and to me, that's what makes this film great. It's a film that every horror lover needs to see. 

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