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87

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

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 249 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: 48 out of 64
  2. Negative: 12 out of 64
  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. Dec 30, 2014
    10
    "I've never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK."

    So says William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, a movie that itself is
    "I've never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK."

    So says William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, a movie that itself is often considered the scariest movie ever made. The Babadook was the best reviewed movie of the holiday season per RottenTomatoes (98%), beating out all Oscar contenders except Boyhood.

    It features the best children's pop-up book ... EVER! And it was probably released in less theaters than The Interview.

    It's a story of grief, depression, and the tension/bond between a mother and child, all seamlessly weaved into an original and captivating supernatural horror flick. The performances of the mother and son are outstanding, although you'll want to strangle at least one of them initially for obnoxious behavior.

    It is currently topping many of 2014's "Here Are the 10 Best Movies You Didn't See This Year."

    That will change by next year as one of "The Best Horror Movies of All-Time."
    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. Feb 8, 2015
    7
    Ba Ba-Ba Dook! Dook! Dook! That sound will stay with your far after the movie has finished. If you are a horror fan looking for something new,Ba Ba-Ba Dook! Dook! Dook! That sound will stay with your far after the movie has finished. If you are a horror fan looking for something new, look no further than The Babadook. Just be prepared to have

    t’s received very good reviews critically, if you enjoyed movies like The Conjuring/ Nightmare on Elm Street or Rosemary’s Baby then you will most definitely like this. It’s a Australian movie and to be honest with you I’ve not watched many Australian movies in the past but the ones I have watched have always been very good. It’s not your typical horror movie in the sense that it draws upon more the psychological element of horror then your typical ghost scenes, it’s a very creepy movie lol.

    It plays on your imagination and honestly there are some truly frightening and disturbing scenes in this movie, at times it can be uncomfortable. The atmosphere is very dark and there’s always an uneasy feeling throughout the movie. The performances are memorable, the plot and pacing are finely-tuned, and the eerie sound effects do justice to this marvelously shot, high-quality movie. A rare and fine experience.

    “A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.”
    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. Feb 24, 2015
    0
    This so called scary film is a waste of time and I blame the critics for the hype as the film has lots of plot holes and undeveloped subplotsThis so called scary film is a waste of time and I blame the critics for the hype as the film has lots of plot holes and undeveloped subplots . Surely , the critics would have noticed but they still give good reviews to this rubbish. Over the top performances caused lots of giggles in the cinema. Even this proves that the film is far from being scary. Expand

See all 64 User Reviews

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