Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
Watch On
  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: A.O. Scott
    Nov 28, 2014
    100
    The brilliance of The Babadook, beyond Ms. Kent’s skillful deployment of the tried-and-true visual and aural techniques of movie horror, lies in its interlocking ambiguities.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Nov 25, 2014
    100
    Jennifer Kent's maternal nightmare The Babadook is the imperial stout of recent fright flicks -- it's the one that will have you walking funny and might rip into your sleep. It's hard to say that you'll enjoy this film, but it's hard not to admire it, if maybe with your eyes half shut.
  4. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Oct 20, 2014
    100
    One of the strongest, most effective horror films of recent years — with awards-quality lead work from Essie Davis, and a brilliantly designed new monster who could well become the break-out spook archetype of the decade.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Nov 25, 2014
    91
    Believe it or not, though, the real horror of this superb Aussie monster movie has almost nothing to do with the title fiend and everything to do with the unspoken, unspeakable impulses he represents. Remove the Babadook from The Babadook, in other words, and something plenty terrifying remains.
  7. 90
    This is Kent’s first feature — an astonishing debut. Not perfect, though.
  8. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Nov 25, 2014
    90
    The Babadook is the rare horror tale that's also a triumph of empathy.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 3, 2014
    89
    The crisp imagery (by Radek Ładczuk) creates a true sense of menace amid the household banality. Tales about mothers who fear their offspring also strike at a very primal level of mythic storytelling. Vigilance is the only means of protection against creatures from the id.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 18, 2014
    88
    This is the scariest movie of the year.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Dec 18, 2014
    88
    Here's one of the strongest feature film debuts in a long time, in any genre.
  13. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Dec 11, 2014
    88
    The feature debut of writer-director Jennifer Kent is not just genuinely, deeply scary, but also a beautifully told tale of a mother and son, enriched with layers of contradiction and ambiguity.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Dec 4, 2014
    88
    The Babadook remains a potent journey through the fears, anxieties, and repressed rages of motherhood. The ending, remarkably, gets to have it both ways, reminding us that some of the scariest monsters are the ones we learn to live with.
  15. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Nov 30, 2014
    88
    The finest and most genuinely provocative horror movie to emerge in this still very-new century.
  16. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Nov 25, 2014
    88
    The film’s slightly confusing ending doesn’t spell anything out, but that’s all right: We’re left sitting in the dark shivering, reassured there are still some directors who can leave us well and truly creeped out.
  17. 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.
  18. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Dec 18, 2014
    83
    If film's rapturous reception is due in part to the rarity of filmmaking this skillful within the horror genre, it's hard to begrudge this near-masterpiece of unease any of the praise it's gotten.
  19. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Nov 27, 2014
    83
    In an age when horror movies have mostly become lazy and toothless, here's one with ambition and bite.
  20. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Feb 1, 2014
    83
    The Babadook is a smart, respectful horror that puts character and emotional issues first, yet never at the cost of a delightful and haunting fright.
  21. 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.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 365 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 78
  2. Negative: 14 out of 78
  1. 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. Full Review »
  2. Nov 29, 2014
    0
    I just watched this movie. I was rooting for the babadook! one of the worst movies I have ever seen! I will give the lead actress kudos, butI just watched this movie. I was rooting for the babadook! one of the worst movies I have ever seen! I will give the lead actress kudos, but story line was awful. I will be calling directv to get my money back Full Review »
  3. Dec 4, 2014
    1
    I watched engrossed for the first half an hour. It seemed like an interesting story with a stressed out, well meaning single mother and herI watched engrossed for the first half an hour. It seemed like an interesting story with a stressed out, well meaning single mother and her problem child and his violent antisocial behaviours and what seemed to be an over active imagination.

    The acting was well done and both the mother and the kid are good actors.

    Unfortunately the horror of the movie was laughable and when they tried to scare you, the whole thing fell apart. I started laughing at the voices that were suppose to terrify and the effects used were straight out of a student movie.

    It got to the point where I completely lost interest. I continued to watch for a while but I skipped the last 15 minutes cause it was so crap. Don't believe all the reviews. This was a dreadful movie and best avoided.
    Full Review »