Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Badabook

This originally played at a film festival, and I missed it there, but now I have seen this Australian horror film.

A single mother and her son are trying to get by, but the son tends towards the fantastic a little too much, and the mother is just worn down trying to deal with it all. She loves him and reads him books, but when they read Mister Babadook, things start going a little strange. The kid now thinks Babadook is coming after them, but the mother isn't ready to accept that anything odd is going on... until she really can't avoid it anymore. Which may be too late.

This is more thriller than horror, with heavy symbolism for what the mother is going through. Almost too much so that the horror elements become rather muted and secondary when given the mother's arc and how invested the movie is at making that seem real. It's rather unbalanced, all up.

The acting isn't bad, with Noel Wiseman putting in a... "performance" as the kid. Essie Davis has the lead role and isn't bad, but another couple of takes might have made things better still. And the Babadook itself is... inconsistently realised. And I have no idea what the ending is supposed to represent.

To be honest, I'm glad I saw something else during the festival, and just caught this on my own time.


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