The Babadook

Metascore
86

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

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 508 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: 60 out of 94
  2. Negative: 16 out of 94
  1. Jan 28, 2015
    10
    It has been ages since I haven't seen such a great horror film. Great characters, plot, and themes to discuss afterwards. It is a modernIt has been ages since I haven't seen such a great horror film. Great characters, plot, and themes to discuss afterwards. It is a modern classic. Give it a try!! Expand
  2. 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
  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. Jul 28, 2015
    8
    It innovates what public understands as horror movies. It encourages a new kind of cinema that lies its roots in horror aspects. Here, KentIt innovates what public understands as horror movies. It encourages a new kind of cinema that lies its roots in horror aspects. Here, Kent provides a film that, as I understood it, gives a significance to the pain and difficulties that exist across human life; but, in this case, with a major focus and impact over the life of a single mother who already fought enough for the well-being of her son. "The Babadook" becomes the representation of that pain and struggle that she has to face in order to protect her son (but not the dog), who was raised up without a father. What makes the film unique is not related to the horror part, but that through suspense it creates a message that gives significance to one of the many aspects of life (in this case for women): motherhood. 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. Jan 6, 2015
    6
    It combines stuff from the exorcist, the shinning and other great from the genre. Great perfomances by the two leading, specially the boy.It combines stuff from the exorcist, the shinning and other great from the genre. Great perfomances by the two leading, specially the boy. Besides from that it is still a regular horror film. Expand
  7. Aug 24, 2015
    0
    I found absolutely nothing about this movie enjoyable. I found it impossible to care about the mother or her son (needless to say, I wantedI found absolutely nothing about this movie enjoyable. I found it impossible to care about the mother or her son (needless to say, I wanted him dead when he was in the back of the car annoyingly crying out "mommy" repeatedly). You aren't given any real back story to understand exactly what is going on until half way through the movie they FINALLY explain that the father/husband died trying to get the mother to the hospital when she went into labor. Everything before that you just have a mother who doesn't really care about her son and her son who is the most annoying child in any movie in the history of cinematography and his obsession with monsters and his night terrors. The fact that they try to force viewers to swallow the concept of a mother resenting her only child just on the grounds that her husband/father of her child died the day the child was born is completely asinine. So a mother unrealistically resents her only child for nearly 7 years and, after merely reading a book, becomes "possessed" and starts to go "crazy." Where did the book come from? It was obviously a scary story so why the hell did she read it to her son that is prone to night terrors? Logic is one of the things this movie is sorely missing. None of it actually makes sense. The "creature" (which is a cheap mix-up of Freddy Krueger & Nosferatu with the most laughable voice) is supposed to be a representation of her suppressed emotions about what happened to her husband yet it somehow, by the end of the movie, becomes an actual supernatural being living in the basement?! I cannot fathom how this movie is getting such praise when it is an absolute **** of stupidity. I really wish I could have the $5 I wasted to rent this movie as well as the 90 minutes I wasted watching it back. This was, without a doubt, the worst, bland, non-frightening, unappealing horror movie I have ever watched. I don't care if people dislike my review. This is my opinion of this **** movie and I hated every second of it. Expand

See all 94 User Reviews

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