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The Babadook (2014)

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A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Director:

Jennifer Kent

Writer:

Jennifer Kent
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1,653 ( 51)
56 wins & 61 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Essie Davis ... Amelia
Noah Wiseman ... Samuel
Hayley McElhinney ... Claire
Daniel Henshall ... Robbie
Barbara West Barbara West ... Mrs. Roach
Benjamin Winspear Benjamin Winspear ... Oskar (as Ben Winspear)
Chloe Hurn Chloe Hurn ... Ruby
Jacquy Phillips Jacquy Phillips ... Beverly (as Jacqy Phillips)
Bridget Walters Bridget Walters ... Norma
Annie Batten Annie Batten ... Old Woman in Corridor
Tony Mack Tony Mack ... Principal
Carmel Johnson Carmel Johnson ... Teacher
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight ... Supermarket Mum (as Tiffany Lyndall Knight)
Lucy Hong Lucy Hong ... Supermarket Little Girl
Sophie Riggs Sophie Riggs ... Checkout Chick
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Storyline

Amelia, who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to Samuel, their only child, struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom. Samuel's constant fear of monsters and violent reaction to overcome the fear doesn't help her cause either, which makes her friends become distant. When things can not get any worse, they read a strange book in their house about the 'Babadook' monster that hides in the dark areas of their house. Even Amelia seems to feel the effect of Babadook and desperately tries in vain to destroy the book. The nightmarish experiences the two encounter form the rest of the story. Written by PipingHotViews

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If it's in a word. Or it's in a look. You can't get rid of ... The Babadook See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 2014 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Babadook See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,007, 28 November 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$924,279, 8 February 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS (5.1 surround)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a few scenes where the Babadook is present, a sound effect from "Warcraft II" (Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995)/Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal (1996)), a computer game by Blizzard, can be heard. The effect was a calling response of dragons in the point and click strategy game. See more »

Goofs

When Amelia is screaming at the Babadook after the picture on the dresser falls over, the black frame on the wall to the left of her head is noticeably slanted, but when she is shown again the frame is perfectly straight. When Amelia says "You're trespassing in my house!" the same frame falls. A few seconds later, when she is shown again, it is back on the wall. Then right after they show Sam hugging Amelia from behind the frame is gone again. See more »

Quotes

Amelia: You are nothing. You're nothing! This is my house! You are trespassing in my house! If you touch my son again, I'll fucking kill you!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Babadook: Behind the Scenes Footage (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Courtesy of The Image Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much more than a horror film
29 August 2015 | by mikeburdickSee all my reviews

While "The Babadook" may display some of the hallmarks of the traditional horror film, there's a lot more going on here than meets the eye. Far from the typical Hollywood bloodfest so brilliantly satired in "Cabin in the Woods," this film's characters are layered, its plot is mercurial, its actions are metaphorical, and its conclusions are ambiguous. All this is likely to disappoint those filmgoers who need to be spoonfed a formula. But if you're a film lover, Do. Not. Miss. This.

Director Jennifer Kent understands what most horror filmmakers fail to grasp: that our biggest fear isn't of crazy killers or monsters or ghosts, but of ourselves—what lives inside us, the emotions we have to live with, the illusory veil of self-control.

The plot revolves around a mum, her troubled son and the book he pulls off the shelf one night. But you already know too much. This is one film where knowing less going into it will really pay dividends. Really, don't even watch the trailer.

Just know that the storytelling and craft are flawless. Essie Davis delivers one of the most challenging performances put to screen with total commitment and credibility. Kent's storytelling is utterly absorbing and she so delicately treads the line between what's real and what's not that you can never be sure of yourself.

What you make of "The Babadook" will depend on who you are. You might take it at face value, as a creepy monster flick with all the constant threat and looming dread and shocking moments. You might take it as an attempt to capture the authentic experience of mental illness. You might take it as a symbolic story using a metaphor for grief and loss. The best films make you feel something and allow you the room to make sense of it yourself.

Personally, I thought about this film for days after seeing it, both because of its ambiguity and because of the themes it explores, namely mental illness and domestic violence. Yes, it's scary. But it's also touching and heartbreaking. While "The Babadook" belongs alongside other great psychological horror films, like "The Innocents" and "The Haunting" (1963), to classify it purely as "horror" really belittles its accomplishment as a film that challenges us to examine and discuss issues we are very uncomfortable tackling in reality.


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