Streaming And Screaming: ‘The Babadook’
by Tito W. James
Six years after the death of her husband, Amelia struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old Samuel – a son she finds difficult to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. And when Amelia begins to see glimpses of the creature herself, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may well be real.
The Babadook is a great low-budget horror that uses its monster sparingly and effectively. The eroding dynamic between mother and son is even more horrifying than any monster. Most films have an “all hope is most” moment in the third act before the protagonists push through to the climax. The Babadook starts at rock-bottom and never stops digging deeper into despair.
The Babadook is now streaming on Shudder.