* * * *
It's hard to be a single mom, especially if your husband died on the night your son was born. Especially if your only son is violent and seeing monsters everywhere. When a blood-red book appears on her son's bedroom Amelia doesn't think too much of it. It is a creepy book however and as her son Samuel continues to insist Mr. Babadook is real, she has to show what's the proper parenting is about.
Borrowing heavily from THE SHINING and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, BABADOOK has it's own evil heart at its core. It introduces its own kind of monster. It is called grief. And the longer you deny it the stronger it gets.
Babadook is not free of horror cliches: we get squeaky stairs, dark closets and insects infested kitchen, but this does not take away it's impact. The scene of Babadook appearance in Amelia's bedroom is probably the scariest sequence on screen since The Conjuring.
BABADOOK would have never felt so real if not for a fantastic performances from Essie Davis as mom and Noah Wiseman as young Samuel. Their mother-son dynamic, their stand against the world which does not understand them, is what makes the movie tick.
BABADOOK is a film about people who are different, vulnerable people who can only find the strength to carry on in each other. With the awkward final scene being it's only weakness, BABADOOK is a small budget gem that deserves all the praise it can get.