The Babadook isn’t exactly a horror movie. It is more of a mere reflection of it. Jennifer Kent’s movie depicts a character’s madding affair with grief through leaflets of terror. And it does in a way you have never come across before.
Yes, it is avant garde at its best!
The Babadook Movie Metaphor
If you have seen The Babadook recently and not scratching your head, you have only seen the superficial. What surrounds beautifully the obvious horror is actually far more intricate. It is really worth applauding the effort Jennifer Kent put in to hold something so profound, so gorgeously wrapped under the aegis of psychotic horror.
I have moved on. I don’t mention him. I don’t talk about him.
Plot Spoilers Lurking Ahead
The opening scene finds an accident. It is portrayed in a spectacular fashion, by showing the protagonist rotating inside a car. It was more like a thing in the past that prologue carried. Clearly she had been in an accident.
Amelia is then disturbed by the constant yammering of her six year old son Samuel. It is a peaceful dream of the mishap which Amelia wishes to see unperturbed, however gets objected by her son. It is like a reflection of chaos knocking at her door in the form of her son.
She hates him to the guts, and it is quite evident by the way she tries to ignore him. He was born the day her husband had died, the same wretched day of the accident.this again mentioned eventually when she admits that she wanted him dead instead of her husband. The hatred, nicely shown in two instances in the beginning itself when Samuel tries to cling on her, and she moves to the edge of the bed, and when he hugs her and she asks him not to do it again.
We spend a lot of time story building where we understand how Amelia’s life has succumbed to grief owing to the terrible misfortune. She is intertwined in her devastating misery. And it is really sorry to see her that way. Essie Davis aces the grieving mother role to perfection.
Direction of The Babadook
The direction of the movie is extremely subtle. Bits like the way the night would turn into the day, the moment Amelia would slip into her blankets, manifested how fast time flew by. Also, a nod to her life that always lacked proper sleep. It was iced further by the waking call from her son every single morning. You can easily tell it was killing her. She was annoyed by her son beyond limit. That’s what gives rise to her dark side. The dark side is none other than The Babadook himself, a figment of her child’s image that becomes real in her head. It is a subtly put metaphor to depict her dark image.
There are many clever references that hone the aforementioned analogy to perfection too. For instance there is a scene where Amelia finds a piece of glass in her food. Samuel says it was The Babadook who did it. She checks his bowl but doesn’t find any. The glass is an apt wink to her car accident, where glasses were shattered. It also insinuates how she would always clung on to those memories.
Another scene where Mrs. Roach shows up at her door with reassuring eyes compels Amelia to have a change of heart is also a reflection on how advices and social talks tend to be helpful for grieving people.
You can get The Babadook movie here:
We find horror in the form of a made-up stories by Amelia’s kid which she inadvertently starts living. The rogue part in her constantly overpowers her and she ends up hurting what’s left. However, eventually she overcomes her fears and says no to her past, (mister Babadook here) and starts loving her son. She celebrates her son’s first birthday thus paving way for happiness and love therefrom.
The movie ends up in utter contrast with the beginning: a smile on her face and love in her eyes.
Only for people who are willing to watch quality cinema which doesn’t skim mainstream!
Here’s the trailer of The Babadook movie: