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Old 08-01-2014, 10:08 AM   #1
CPT HOOK
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The Babadook (2014)



I saw this recent Australian boogeyman movie on Wednesday night and really enjoyed it. It does have a few creepy bits, but it somewhat misses the mark as a scary movie. However, it fully succeeds as a drama, dealing with the relationship between a strained mother and her troubled son. Both actors are absolutely perfect in their roles, the son being the perfect combination of obnoxious and charming, and the mother being frustrated by the son who she doesn’t always like but really does love. These two carry the film effortlessly. The boogeyman doesn’t really show up until pretty late in the film, so they’re sort of forced to carry it. The editing helps convey their strained relationship as well, with close-ups of grinding teeth and feet kicking the back of a car seat.

The movie does have a dark little sense of humor as well, and a lot of the jokes hit their mark. For instance, during a CPS visit, the child (having just taken some prescribed drugs) announces, “I’m sleepy from all the drugs mom gave me”. There’s another similar moment near the end of the film. Maybe it’s because of those bits of humor that the audience was laughing through the parts that were intended to be scary? As for the scares, the Babadook is mostly kept in the dark, but he does make a few on-screen appearances. There’s a really fantastic and visually gorgeous scene where he appears in the black-and-white movie the mother is watching, done with stop-motion effects. Horror fans will likely recognize clips from Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath playing on the television as well. And there’s a really fun little Home Alone / Nightmare On Elm Street aspect to the film, where the kid builds weapons and sets boobytraps.

I would absolutely recommend checking it out, however, I would strongly advise you approach it as a character drama with dark supernatural elements, and not an outright horror film. If you go in expecting non-stop jump scares or figures constantly lurking in the background ala Insidious (although there is some of that), you’ll be sorely disappointed. The emphasis is first and foremost on the characters.

Anyone else here seen or heard of this one? When it screened, it had the IFC Midnight logo before it, so I imagine they'll be handling the U.S. distribution.

Trailer

Last edited by CPT HOOK; 08-01-2014 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:29 AM   #2
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New Trailer

IFC Midnight will be releasing this OnDemand and in limited theaters this November.
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Old 11-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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Just watched this the other night. I'm still trying to figure out whether I liked it or not!

I've been eagerly awaiting this movie for what seems like ages, and although it did disappoint as a horror movie, it was a very dramatic and immersive experience which stays with you no matter how you feel about the film itself.

CPT HOOK's review is pretty much spot on. I'm interested in seeing it again. But it's not the "film of the year" I was expecting.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:35 PM   #4
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Definitely will check this one out.
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:24 PM   #5
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Watched it last night and really enjoyed it, the main characters were beautifully portrayed and I really felt the woman's pain. I like the mix of physiological drama and horror and most of what happens can be decided/interpreted by the viewer, it certainly had some creepy moments and kept me glued to the screen for the full duration, will certainly pick up when it's on physical media.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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Glad you liked it Hots4!
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
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Saw this at After Dark and did not care for it. No one else I know did either. But it somehow got some top honors so apparently we live in a vacuum.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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My gf and I saw a trailer for this and she refuses to even consider it because "It looks like The Ring," which terrified her back in the day. What say you guys? Will it scare the holy hell out of her and ruin my relationship?

I really want to see the film, ha.
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Well as the video explains, I do not think it is a great film, nor do I think.
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:47 PM   #9
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Saw this at After Dark and did not care for it. No one else I know did either. But it somehow got some top honors so apparently we live in a vacuum.
I also caught this at a film fest in September and thought it was just mediocre at best. I know the kid was supposed to be a "handful" in the film, but he was the most annoying kid character I've seen on-screen in a very long time...
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:30 AM   #10
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Saw this tonight and loved it. Great acting and i really liked the imagery of the Babadook. One of the best horror flics of the year imo. Not sure how any of you could be disappointed by this one.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:03 AM   #11
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I also caught this at a film fest in September and thought it was just mediocre at best. I know the kid was supposed to be a "handful" in the film, but he was the most annoying kid character I've seen on-screen in a very long time...
Haha. We were saying this film should have been funded by a condom or birth control company. So annoying. At least the one thing this film did for me was help re-enforce my views against procreation.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:57 AM   #12
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Ba ba doooook!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:30 AM   #13
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I also caught this at a film fest in September and thought it was just mediocre at best. I know the kid was supposed to be a "handful" in the film, but he was the most annoying kid character I've seen on-screen in a very long time...
He's annoying in the trailer, so I can imagine what he's like in the film!
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:10 PM   #14
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Just out of curiosity, am I the only one that will never watch this again based purely on how fucking annoying the little kid is?
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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Just out of curiosity, am I the only one that will never watch this again based purely on how fucking annoying the little kid is?
Thanks for the heads up...no need to waste my time with this.
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