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The Babadook

Australia 2014
produced by
Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere, Jan Chapman (executive), Jeff Harrison (executive), Jonathan Page (executive), Michael Tear (executive) for Causeway Films, Smoking Gun Productions
directed by Jennifer Kent
starring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell, Benjamin Winspear, Craig Behenna, Hayley McElhinney, Carmel Johnson, Chloe Hurn, Cathy Adamek, Adam Morgan, Stephen Sheehan, Terence Crawford, Jacqy Phillips, John Maurice, Barbara West, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Lucy Hong, Bridget Walters, Tony Mack
written by Jennifer Kent, music by Jed Kurzel

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Samuel (Noah Wiseman) has always been a slightly odd child who has been more interested in magic tricks and self-designed weaponry than anything else. Amelia (Essie Davis), his single mother - dad died in a car accident when he drove mum to the hospital to have Samuel -, tries her best to give him the best of cares, but there's only so much she can do. One day she reads a fold-up picture book to him about the Babadook, which both she and he find entirely too disturbing, as the titular character of the book is a soulhunter. After that, Samuel's behaviour changes for the weirder, and he also shows a violent side - to an extent that he's expelled from school. Amelia takes a few days of sick leave to look after her son, but soon has to notice they're not alone in the house, there's another presence there with them - and it might be the Babadook ...

 

The Babadook is based on a very interesting premise and is full of well-conceived psychological undercurrents, the children book's are is crepy and integrated into the film to full effect, the ensemble cast is very competent ... and yet, the film fails to fully convince, basically because the finale feels a bit random and lacks stringency, and the film's ending leaves a few too many questions open and refuses to make too much sense.

Still, totally worth a look, but not without room for improvement.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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On the same day
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... and for the life of it,
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

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