The Babadook

Starring Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman
Written and directed by Jennifer Kent
Australia 2014
94 minutes

'If it's in a word, or it's in a look, you can't get rid of the Babadook'

Widow and single parent Amelia and her troubled young son Samuel begin to experience strange and eerie occurrences in their Adelaide home. A sinister childrens storybook called 'The Babadook' seems to be at the heart of the mystery but are these events real or could it be the mother and her child who are actually causing the trouble?

This spine-tingling, atmospheric and cineliterate movie pays homage to such classics as 'The Haunting' and 'The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari' whilst having its own distinct tone and style.

The director is Jennifer Kent and 'The Babadook' is a first feature - expanded from her short film 'Monster'. Working in a genre that is traditionally dominated by men Kent's debut is impressive and assured - displaying a depth of character and emotion often sorely lacking in such supernatural stories.

She cites as her cinematic influences such diverse films as 'The Shining', 'Nosferatu' and 'Let The Right One In'. The picture eschews CGI effects - using older techniques like stop motion animation to achieve unsettling and effective results.