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86

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 370 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
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
  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: 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 11, 2014
    80
    The Babadook is a terrific horror film.
  6. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Nov 25, 2014
    80
    So many horror films trade depth for a thrill. The Babadook has both. It dispenses with cheap scares and draws tension from a slowly enveloping dread. And when you think you know where it’s going, that’s when it goes in for the kill.
  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 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 79
  2. Negative: 15 out of 79
  1. Feb 14, 2015
    10
    I believe that this is possibly one of the best horrors to be made in recent years. However, i believe the user score is not as high as peopleI believe that this is possibly one of the best horrors to be made in recent years. However, i believe the user score is not as high as people have become accustomed to and expectant of a overused horror trope nowadays: the jump scare. This film has no jumpscares what so ever and this is why some people may not like it as much as they expect to s**t themselves for a second and then be "all is okay now". The thing that makes the Babadook so scary is that it relies on psychological horror and it's engaging and complex storyline that can actually be dissected and analysed instead of most horror films typical "this person is possessed, save them" or "there is a monster coming to kill us, we must run" or "there's ghosts haunting us". This films psychological horror really is a breath of fresh air as it's eerie, dark and ambiguous tone and atmosphere really send shivers done your spine. This never makes you jump really, but more makes you feel uncomfortable and unsettled. The performances are spot on by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman plays his role excellently: he seems annoying and ungrateful and then turns sympathetic and understandable. 10/10 for creating an original horror that good es back to it's roots; it wants to chill you for days instead of make you jump for a few seconds. One of the classics of horror now. 10/10. Bravo to Jennifer Kent for creating this masterpiece. Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2014
    10
    Jennifer Kent directs "The Babadook" the knew Australian Horror film, starring Essie Davis. This movie does not rely on pointless jump-scaresJennifer Kent directs "The Babadook" the knew Australian Horror film, starring Essie Davis. This movie does not rely on pointless jump-scares or loud noises to be unsettling. This movie disturbed me more then any other thriller or horror film has since Johnathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs". And it even could be the best thriller since "The Silence of the Lambs".
    This film has been compared to Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". I can see why. The film-making strategy and over all story are very similar, but the use of electrify imagery, and implications outmatches "The Shining", by a huge margin.
    Jennifer Kent's debut is exciting. If any of her upcoming projects are half as good as this one is, we may have the next Spielberg.
    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 6, 2014
    6
    It is a good movie. The kid is a good actor. I liked the idea of the movie and that babadook book they find. That was kind of a cool idea, andIt is a good movie. The kid is a good actor. I liked the idea of the movie and that babadook book they find. That was kind of a cool idea, and I was hoping it will get more interesting. Unfortunately it did not get much better after the first half of the film. It is like they just lost interest in the movie, or run out of ideas half way through. Just exorcist-like or shining-like ideas copied into this movie. It could have been so much better. I was much looking forward to seeing something scary, especially after reading many reviews that said it is a very scary and terrifying movie. Unfortunately I was disappointed. There was not a single scary thing in the movie. To the contrary, that babadook thing is kind of charming. They should have considered making a childrens movie with mr. babadook instead. Expand
  7. May 10, 2015
    0
    There really is nothing scary about this movie. The one thing that scares the living hell out of you is the kid. You must feel sorry for theThere really is nothing scary about this movie. The one thing that scares the living hell out of you is the kid. You must feel sorry for the mother, and during the entire movie, you hope that this annoying brat gets eaten alive by a terrible monster. Expand

See all 79 User Reviews

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