The Babadook (2014)

enjoyablemostly
spookyyes
scaryno
unsettlingyes
gorenone
body horrormild
violence toward animalsyes
Bechdel-Wallace testfailed
X was the real YIt turns out that regret is the real Babadook

I liked this movie, but not nearly as much as I thought I was going to. This is probably more about expectations than the movie itself.

Babadook is a stylish film. This, along with the superb acting, go a long way in selling the Amelia's growing isolation as she descends into madness.

The film succeeds in making simple things like shots of empty clothing are able to come off as genuinely unsettling.

[SPOILER] The best parts of the movie are probably the amazing pop-up book, and the golden-age movie dream sequence. The first appearance of the book is a delight—It was hard not to feel the same confusion and growing unease as Amelia. And when the book reappears with more pages, it holds up to the lofty expectations the first appearance set. The dream sequence is playful. It nails its aesthetic, and while it's silly, the movie's strong tone is able to make it come across as creepy.

I think my disappointment stems from two things: the Babadook himself, and the climax of the film.

While I enjoyed all the hints of the Babadook, I felt the actual Babadook came off as a little too goofy. His movement especially bothered me. I can't help wondering if I would have been happier never seeing him.

[SPOILER] I also felt the climax fell flat. The movie builds up very well, and because of that I thought there needed to be more to it. I think the shot I wanted was Amelia with the Babadook as her shadow behind her to better mirror the book.