The Babadook Review - The Horrors Of Grief and Trauma

Babadook horror movie reiew

The Babadook is a horror movie that was released in 2014. It was directed by Jennifer Kent and stars Essie Davis as a single mother named Amelia who is struggling to raise her son Samuel, played by Noah Wiseman.

The Tragic Background

When diving deeper into The Babadook, it becomes apparent that the film is rooted in tragedy. The family in the movie has a haunting past that shapes their present circumstances, and the tragic event that occurred is the death of the father, who passed away while transporting his wife, Amelia, to the hospital to give birth to their son, Samuel. This event serves as the foundation for the grief and trauma experienced by the characters in the film.

Amelia, the mother, carries a heavy burden of resentment towards her son, Samuel. He was born on the same day his father died, and Amelia struggles with the conflicting emotions associated with his birth. This resentment adds an extra layer of complexity to their relationship and further contributes to the tension in the film.

The film is filled with awkwardness and tension, showcasing the strained dynamics within the family. The resentment felt by the mother, combined with the grief and trauma experienced by both Amelia and Samuel, leads to a sense of discomfort throughout the movie. As you watch the movie you witness the strained interactions and the emotional toll it takes on the characters.

The impact of the father's death on the characters plays a big role in particular. Amelia's inability to let go of her grief and move forward with her life is a central theme in the film and the presence of the Babadook, symbolizes the unresolved trauma and grief that continues to haunt Amelia and Samuel. It represents the lasting impact of their loss and the inability to escape from it.

The Babadook's Arrival

When the Babadook book enters the picture, it quickly becomes a significant element in the film. The book serves as the catalyst for the events that follow, as it tells the story of the Babadook, a creature that cannot be rid of. This book is more than just a fictional tale; it becomes a tangible representation of the darkness and grief that haunts the characters.

At first, Sam's fears and concerns are dismissed by those around him, including his mother, Amelia. They believe that he is just a scared child with an overactive imagination, however, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that the Babadook is not just a figment of Sam's imagination. 

The creature begins to infiltrate their lives in more ways than one, transforming from a mere bedtime story character into a menacing and real threat.

The transformation of the Babadook into a real threat mirrors the growing grief and trauma within the characters. It represents the unresolved emotions and pain that they have been carrying with them for years. As it becomes more present and visible, the characters are forced to confront their inner demons and face the darkness head-on.

The Mother's Resentment

One of the most powerful aspects of the movie is the portrayal of the mother's resentment towards her son, Samuel. This resentment stems from the fact that Samuel was born on the same day her husband died, creating a complicated and conflicting set of emotions for the mother, Amelia.

Throughout the film, the impact of possession on the mother's behavior is evident. The Babadook's presence exacerbates her already deep-seated resentment, causing her to lash out at her son in moments of anger and frustration and this possession amplifies her negative emotions, intensifying the strain in their relationship.

The film skillfully explores the mother's anger and frustration, showcasing the toll that grief and trauma can have on a person's mental and emotional well-being and the Babadook becomes a manifestation of her own internal struggles, representing the darkness and pain that she carries within herself.

Amelia's anger and frustration are portrayed with raw intensity, making her character's journey all the more compelling as you witnesses the consequences of her outbursts and the detrimental effect they have on both her and her son.

As the film progresses, we also see moments of regret and remorse from the mother. After the Babadook's possession is resolved, she realizes the harm that she has caused and the impact it has had on her son and this realization leads to a profound sense of guilt and a desire to repair their damaged relationship.

The Symbolism of the Babadook

The movie delves deep into the themes of grief and trauma as mentioned. The Babadook itself serves as more than just a horror creature, it is a metaphorical representation of the unresolved trauma and grief experienced by the characters.

Throughout the film, the Babadook symbolizes the lasting impact of loss and the inability to escape from it. It is a physical manifestation of the darkness and pain that the mother, Amelia, and her son, Samuel, carry within themselves.

It is a symbol of the darkness that they cannot escape from and that their grief always lingering and always present and ready to resurface.

The Husband's Connection

The role of the husband in the film is quite significant and plays a major role. The Babadook even takes on the appearance of Amelia's husband at one point, representing her inability to let go of her grief and move forward with her life and the husband's presence, even in this form, reminds Amelia of her loss and the pain associated with it.

Amelia also experiences physical pain throughout the film, particularly in her jaw. This pain symbolizes the emotional anguish that she carries due to the loss of her husband and s serves as a physical manifestation of her unresolved grief and the burden she feels towards her son, born on the same day her husband died.

Both Amelia and Samuel struggle with the pain of their past, but ultimately, they find a way to coexist with it. The ending suggests that they have come to terms with their loss and have learned to move forward, although the Babadook will always be a part of their lives.

The Mastery of Tension and Atmosphere

The film utilizes music and sound to great effect, enhancing the overall sense of dread and unease. The score, composed by Jed Kurzel, is haunting and atmospheric, perfectly capturing the eerie tone of the film and the music serves as a subtle layer that adds depth to the scenes, heightening the tension and creating a sense of foreboding. 

The film also employs hard cuts and moments of silence to build the tension and create a sense of unease. The abrupt transitions between scenes, accompanied by silence, just heighten the anticipation of what might happen next. These moments of silence also allow you to fully absorb the atmosphere and become immersed in the film's unsettling world.

Do I Recommend  The Movie?

I would give The Babadook 6/.10 and would recommend it to other horror movie fans. It has some good moments, and some of you will be rooting for the Babadook as the child, Samuel, is highly annoying, but it also adds to the story with regards to the mother, as well. But shit, I'd go fucking crazy having to put up with him 24/7.

But seriously, it captures the psychological toll of grief and trauma really well, portraying the lasting impact it can have on individuals and their relationships. It is more than watchable and decent. 6/10.

What's your thought?? Like or dislike the movie?

The Babadook on IMDB.

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Check out a few of my other horror movie reviews on Horror Movies Nerd.

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