The Babadook 2014

Directed by Jennifer Kent Fresh

‘Baba-dook-dook-dook’ joins ‘Candyman’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ as words too terrifying to say, but too tempting not to, thanks to Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s startling and thought-provoking horror house thriller.

Jul 31

The Civic Theatre

In Your Wishlist
Aug 01

SKYCITY Theatre

In Your Wishlist
96 minutes CinemaScope/DCP
M (horror, offensive language, sexual references, violence)

Director

Screenplay

Jennifer Kent

Producers

Kristina Ceyton
,
Kristian Moliere

Photography

RadekLadczuk

Editor

Simon Njoo

Production designer

Alex Holmes

Costume designer

Heather Wallace

Music

Jed Kurzel

With

Essie Davis (Amelia)
,
Noah Wiseman (Samuel)
,
Hayley McElhinney (Claire)
,
Daniel Henshall (Robbie)
,
Barbara West (Mrs Roach)
,
BenWinspear (Oskar)

Festivals

Sundance
,
New Directors/New Films 2014

Elsewhere

A storybook demon terrorises an ungovernable child and his mother (Essie Davis) in Jennifer Kent’s gripping and brilliantly idiosyncratic frightener. Conjuring all the dread and nocturnal scares from her haunted house scenario that any horror fan might require, writer-director Kent goes deeper. She etches the visceral terrors of her two protagonists with a psychological acuity and emotional resonance that make her film unmistakably and thrillingly the work of an artist with a vision.

“What starts off as a seemingly standard evil-child outing gradually transforms into something else entirely. By the end, the supremely grating and peculiar seven-year-old Samuel (newcomer Noah Wiseman, eerily reminiscent of The Shining’s Danny Lloyd) is the most sympathetic thing in the film. The Babadook is a bogeyman-like figure pictured in a super-creepy handmade children’s pop-up book that mysteriously appears and cannot be disposed of no matter how hard Samuel’s mother tries... The Babadook features a number of genuinely unsettling scenes, (embarrassing disclosure: I checked the closets and under the bed before I tried to sleep that night), but it also packs an emotional punch. That’s mostly due to Davis’ truly shape-shifting performance... ‘Baba dook dook dook!’ should take its place in the annals of horror history alongside ‘Candyman’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ as words too terrifying to repeat but too tempting not to.” — Laura Kern, Film Comment

“You may not believe in bogeymen, but you better believe The Babadook is the best Australian film in years.” — Simon Miraudo, Quickflix

 

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