Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Flix: The Babadook (2014)

The kid is not alright!  Today's Film is The Babadook, an Australian Horror Film that got all sorts of hype earlier this year.  I'm no follower, so I decided to wait.  After all the uproar died down, I decided to check it out.  The Film tells the tale of a widowed Mother, her son and a freaky creature that seems to be preying upon them.  What is this creature?  Is it real?  Is she crazy?  The Film has all sorts of atmosphere, a pretty unique feel and some creepy visuals.  Is it all flash and no substance though?  To find out, read on...
This young lady is a Widow stuck raising her child with all sorts of control issues.
She is trying to hold things together and a number of things- including her kid's fear of monsters- are making things quite hard.
One night, the kid pulls a book from the shelf.  The Title: 'Mister Babadook.'

It is kind of like Good Night, Moon...if the Moon was an evil Spirit that wants to eat your soul.
Things only get worse as the kid's problems increase and the Book returns from being burned...and now it is pissed!
Can our heroes survive with this angry, mysterious spirit on the loose or is everyone around them doomed?  To find out, yadda yadda yadda.  The End.
Damn good stuff!  I won't lie- I was kind of expecting to be disappointed.  I'm not a Cynic, but I am a Realist.  How many of these 'Best of the Year' Films are all that they are hyped up to be?  In this case, it is not all talk.  As a single white male (no stalker for me!), I can't *completely* relate to the tale of a widow and her young son from my own experiences.  For people that are different, they may have more of a connection.  That said, they still do a good job in giving them proper motivation, little character moments (some of which feel like Stuck) and a good explanation for their situation.  They are very sympathetic Characters and you really want good things to happen to them.  Unfortunately, life (or, rather, the Script) has the opposite in mind.  Much like The Descent, things are bad even before the Monster shows up.  While I'm not exactly clear on much about The Babadook, it sure can be freaky.  It is a real balancing act of giving enough information about a monster and giving them too much.  For example, Ringu works well due to some mystery, while Rasen tries to scientifically-explain everything (badly) and suffers for it.  Much like It Follows, this Film doesn't tell you much about its creature, but still works pretty well.  In both cases, I would like to know more, but it remains to be seen if these Films don't end up as one-and-done Films.  All in all, The Babadook is a neat, atmospheric Film that plays things a bit differently than most you see.  I will give lots of props, even if they kind of copied a certain Brazilian Legend for their creature...
Next up, I celebrate the release of a new Video Game.  With no tie-in Film, I have to get a little, well, creative.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. The Babadook design didn't remind me of Coffin Joe so much as Lon Chaney in 'London By Midnight'... but yeah, it was an effective movie, lots of sadness and regret, which are flavors I particularly enjoy in horror tales.