31 Days Of Hallowe'en: The Babadook (2014)
Welcome to JOE's 31 Days Of Hallowe'en. For each and every day of October, we'll be bringing you a horror movie to tuck into for the lead up to the big night. It could be new, old, an undiscovered gem, or a classic you'll have seen a thousand times. No matter what it is, we guarantee you that it is brilliant, and it is SCARY.
For Day 10, we'll be looking back over 2014's psychological minefield, The Babadook.
"If it's in a word, or if it's in a look, you can't get rid of The Babadook."
On first look, there doesn't appear to be much to The Babadook.
Amelia (played by Essie Davis, who in a fair and just world, would've gotten some serious Oscar attention) is haunted every day by particularly violent images of her recently deceased husband's untimely end. Meanwhile, she's trying to take care of her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who claims there is a monster in their home, one that was released after they read from a book neither of them remember owning.
When her sons visions cause him to act out in increasingly erratic ways, Amelia herself begins to feel the presence of the monster, but are they really being haunted, or has her mind cracked under the pressure of her recent loss?
From there, that is where The Babadook comes into its own...
Clip via Movieclips Trailers
Once she starts to see the creature too, arriving late at night with the warning of a creepy, creaky voice, reaching out for her and her son, barely visible in the dark, you'll begin questioning whether what you're seeing what Amelia is choosing to see, or if she really is the victim of a paranormal entity.
Every five minutes, you'll flit back and forth - Yep, she's crazy. Oh, wait, no, the monster must be real! - until we get the incredibly satisfying denouement that cleverly ties things up to satisfy everyone without falling into the trap of it being an overly simplistic happy ending.
What is even more impressive is that this was writer and director Jennifer Kent's first feature film. If this is how she kicks off, we can't wait to see what she does next.
Check out our previous recommendations below: