Review – The Babadook



Here is something that I haven’t yet mentioned.  My dream horror movie is one where the lead character is seeing all kinds of crazy crap but it doesn’t turn out that he/she is haunted or possessed; they’re actually just descending into madness.  I really wanted to be a criminal psychologist back in my day, so the fragility of the human mind and the transition away from sanity is something I find completely fascinating.  When I saw the trailer for The Babadook, I thought that at long last there was a movie that was exactly what I’ve been looking for.  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, here’s my warning that I’m about to ruin the ending and let you know if my desires were realized with this film or if I was left disappointed.

SPOILER: The main character isn’t going crazy.  In the end, there’s for really real a real boogie man who possessed her for a short time and then escaped her body/soul to be kept as a pet.  Oh my gosh!  So fun!  I for one am super happy that I sat through 80 minutes before finding that out.  What a terrific ending!

Sarcasm aside, there’s a good chance that I can guess the ending of anything I watch based on my own logic and deductive reasoning.  However, when something ends either half-assed or far-fetched, my brain has a miniature spasm leading to the muscles in my face to open my mouth and ask, “Whaaaaaaat?”  There were little clues throughout the movie that the main character was just going crazy or was suffering from the side effects of a serious lack of sleep.  They even alluded in some ways that she was the creator of The Babadook, but then didn’t explain any of that in the conclusion and instead had her stand up to a tangible creature who broke free from her only to be locked in her basement where she occasionally feeds it.

The very brief synopsis on this film is that a mom reads a book to her son called The Babadook which is about a boogieman character who comes into your life and proceeds to kill your loved ones and eventually you.  The mom tries to destroy the book, but the book keeps coming back into the house and even has pages added to it.  (Who could be adding these pages….the mom?  Hmmm, there is ink on her hands in one scene, and she was once a writer.  Maybe it’s her?  Wait, nope, something just came out of her body and now lives in the basement.  Nevermind.)  The mom gets more and more erratic and irritable throughout the movie which you think is from a lack of sleep due to her shrill hellion of a son.  Turns out that hypothesis would be too rational, though, as what’s actually making her crazy is Mr. Babadook who she eventually vomits up and then confronts (didn’t realize he was Fred Krueger, but I guess that’s what’s up now).  Did I mention that after that confrontation scene, he scurries to the basement?  Because he does.  And then they feed him garden grubs.  The End.

I’m sorry.  I know I’m being pretty negative right now, but after sitting through horrible endings in one too many things (Lost, I’m looking in your direction with an eye stinkier than all of the refuse dumps in the world combined), I have a short fuse for writing that introduces cool concepts that you think will be explained in the end, and then they aren’t.  If you like the idea of a spooky ol’ weirdo possessing a person and making her surly, then this is the perfect movie for you.  If you like realism though, I’ve already made this movie entertaining for you with a hyper-sarcastic review, so you can spend your 90 minutes doing something better…baking your own bread, taking an unexpected nap, falling down a Wikipedia rabbit-hole; the possibilities are endless.

Have you seen The Babadook?  What did you think?  Are you a professional screenplay writer who wants to use my idea for a person just going legitimately insane as an explanation for a bunch of weird crap happening?  The Babadook?  More like let’s watch Babar, am I right?