Movie Analysis: ‘The Babadook’

“The Babadook” was a horror film that was released on Nov. 28, 2014. It was directed and written by Jenniffer Kent. It is not rated, and not suitable for a young audience.

The Babadook is an unrated horror film that has won over 50 awards and was showed at Sundance. image courtesy of best

“The Babadook” follows Amelia and her son, Samuel, as they are plagued by a cursed book. It stars Essie Davis as Amelia and Noah Wiseman as Samuel.

Amelia lost her husband while driving on their way to the hospital to deliver Samuel. She never directly says that she hates her son, but it is clear that she blames Samuel for the car crash. She is constantly insulting and belittling her son and constantly asks why he can’t be normal. She works at a retirement home and struggles to go through the day without thinking about her dead husband.

Samuel is a peculiar boy with a wide imagination. Since his mother is constantly insulting him, he has to come up with his own ways of entertainment, like doing magic tricks for an audience of stuffed animals or making a contraption that shoots at the Babadook. He also speaks his mind often, which results in some uncomfortable conversations. He tells almost everyone when they first meet that his father died while driving his mother to the hospital.

At the beginning of the film, he keeps waking his mother to tell her that there is a monster in the house and she reassures him that there isn’t.

Samuel likes his mother to read him a bedtime story before bed. He often picks the same one, but one night he picks out one that Amelia has never seen before called “The Babadook.” After they read this horrifying book depicting Amelia killing the dog and Samuel, she throws the book out.

Samuel then tells his cousin that the Babadook is real, and will kill her mother. Amelia is constantly telling him to stop bringing up the Babadook.

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Even though she throws the book out and tears it apart, the book keeps reappearing and the monster that goes by the name Babadook starts haunting both of them. This results in them not being able to sleep, and thus the Babadook gets stronger and stronger the longer they don’t sleep.

“The Babadook” has won over 50 awards and was also screened at Sundance.

When asked if Kent would ever make a sequel to the film, she said that it didn’t matter how much money she is offered, ”The Babadook” is not meant to have a sequel, according to IMDB.

“You can’t get rid of…The Babadook” is a reoccurring line in the film. Image courtesy of

I think I saved the best for last when it comes to horror movies. “The Babadook” is not for the faint of heart. It has a small-budget feel, but manages to scare better than most mainstream horror films.

When looking at horror films, “The Babadook” takes the cake. It is a perfect blend of character development and actual horror. Not only is the Babadook a truly terrifying monster, but you never really see all of the Babadook clearly on screen, which leaves you to fill in what the rest of it looks like.

The relationship and growth between Amelia and Samuel is really nice and gives the characters depth. In most horror movies, you never really see complex characters like these.

The climax of the film is very intense and you don’t really know what’s going to happen. The ending also has a very nice resolution, yet still leaves you with the haunting feeling that the Babadook is always watching. It is definitely a new favorite film of mine and has successfully made me terrified of big red books.

If you would like to stream “The Babadook” for yourself, it is available on shudder.

Do you have any recommendations on what films I should look into next? Send your suggestions to [email protected]