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Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 218 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. WhenSix years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called The Babadook turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, and he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behavior, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real. [IFC Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 33
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 33
  3. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 15, 2014
    100
    The Babadook creates tension not with jump scares or chase sequences but with judicious editing and slow-burn suspense—that is, until it descends into a final half-hour of harrowing emotional and physical intensity, an extended climax that made me gasp aloud, hide my eyes, and weep at least twice.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jan 26, 2014
    100
    On purely formal grounds (the ones on which the genre lives or dies), Kent is a natural. She favors crisp compositions and unfussy editing, transforming the banal house itself into a subtle, shadowy threat.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jan 26, 2014
    90
    Kent and editor Simon Njoo show maturity and trust in their material, expertly building tension through the insidious modulation from naturalistic dysfunctional family drama to all-out boogeyman terror.
  4. Reviewed by: Abhimanyu Das
    Mar 20, 2014
    88
    Its horrors go beyond any single raggedy phantom, reaching back to the primordial fear of death and loss: of a child, of a loved one, of one's own sense of self.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Greene
    Jan 26, 2014
    83
    The Babadook isn't a transcendent horror film. But its ability to handle and manipulate the conventional tropes apparent in so many of its peers makes it a satisfying ride.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Nov 26, 2014
    80
    It would be enough for The Babadook to get by on scares alone—the eponymous spook is eminiently franchise-able—but Kent doesn’t give the audience that kind of distance. Her agenda is more personal.
  7. 63
    Manages to pop the hairs on the back of your neck more than most repetitive, predictable and gory Hollywood horror films these days.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 56
  2. Negative: 11 out of 56
  1. Jan 10, 2015
    10
    Just to put it out there, I loved this movie. When I saw the trailer for The Babadook, I was hooked and, when I saw all the rave reviews itJust to put it out there, I loved this movie. When I saw the trailer for The Babadook, I was hooked and, when I saw all the rave reviews it got, I was really excited. Then I saw the movie and I was sure that this was an awesome movie. Essie Davis is spectacular, the music in the background sets the mood perfectly and the way it is filmed just adds to its overall creep factor. Also, I must give this movie kudos for its use of symbolism and for it being the FIRST MOVIE of what should become Jennifer Kent's long and successful film career. Expand
  2. Nov 28, 2014
    10
    I watched the Babadook and I must say I quite liked the movie because its type of horror distinguished itself from the others and left out theI watched the Babadook and I must say I quite liked the movie because its type of horror distinguished itself from the others and left out the jumpscares advancing to the horror itself, had incredible performances from the two lead actors, Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman, a good story that led us to sympathize with the characters and to fear for them, and even a tone and a soundtrack that stand out. For me it deserves 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, because it was a great movie that really worked thanks to Jennifer Kent's amazing storytelling, and let's hope they launch The Babadook Book because I really loved its iconic character. Expand
  3. Nov 28, 2014
    10
    Far from traditional, this is by far the best horror film released in the past five years. Like the scariest bits taken from David Lynch butFar from traditional, this is by far the best horror film released in the past five years. Like the scariest bits taken from David Lynch but stretched over a 90 minute running time. The Babadook is a highly accomplished debut feature - great film making, powerfully performed and utterly terrifying. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Much less a horror film than a chiller, "The Babadook" was a complex and profoundly unnerving film. It really was very good at making me squirm uncomfortably in my seat. Its use of imagery and sound to unsettle me, rather than jump scares to catch me off-guard, made it a far more interesting and worthwhile experience. I was not frightened, per se, but I was certainly creeped out. Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman gave exceptional performances and I'm pleased Davis is getting so much critical recognition for her role, as she is unlikely to get much attention on the major awards circuit, which is a damned shame because she plays her role to perfection, embodying both the victim and the villain of the movie by its gut-wrenching end. I did not enjoy "The Babadook", I did not need to. If I enjoyed it, it would not have been half as good as it was. Expand
  5. Dec 25, 2014
    7
    A very well made movie. Not very scary, but creepy indeed and will give you chills down your spine. The actress who plays the mother isA very well made movie. Not very scary, but creepy indeed and will give you chills down your spine. The actress who plays the mother is excellent and for a child actor, the boy does a pretty good job too. The film gives enough clues to what it actually is about, yet despite knowing what it is about, you still wonder if it's real or not. Why i wouldn't rate the film extremely high, i do get why the critics praise it. It's very well written and more intelligent than it appears to be. Those who just wanted to see a horror movie to get scared will think it's overrated, those who 'get it' and think about the metaphors, will appreciate it a lot more. Expand
  6. Dec 29, 2014
    6
    Highly praised, but I don't get it. Starts building tension but somehow fails to hit the mark. The kid is just annoying. Decent work butHighly praised, but I don't get it. Starts building tension but somehow fails to hit the mark. The kid is just annoying. Decent work but nothing special. Expand
  7. Jan 19, 2015
    0
    A truly bad film. Underdeveloped characters and badly written script. See the scene tmother opens the pop up book and sees what's going toA truly bad film. Underdeveloped characters and badly written script. See the scene tmother opens the pop up book and sees what's going to happen next so do we . There is absolutely no surprise . We sit and wait for the things we see in the pop up book happen. Expand

See all 56 User Reviews

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