The Babadook

RV: After I watched this movie, I thought it was the most brilliant horror film I had seen all year, but when I went to school the next day and pitched its brilliance to my classes, most of them vehemently disagreed. I was shocked. I had sat through so many garbage horror films on Netflix based on the reviews of these same teenagers, yet when I finally found one that I didn’t just enjoy but loved, they couldn’t see its merit at all, which got me thinking. The Babadook might be the perfect example of why horror films can not be reviewed under the same lenses as other genres of film. People go to horror films to get scared, and if that’s achieved by terrible plot devices and cheap camera tricks, then they must be doing something right…no, I can’t do it. I can’t say that this movie isn’t good. It’s too fantastic to downplay. Therefore, I must plead with the fans of the horror genre. Please, please, please look beyond the cheap jump scares and atrocious tropes that are applauded in other horror films. If you do, you will find a much deeper and a much more frightening experience in The Babadook. I can’t tell you the deeper symbolism of this movie because I would essentially be telling you that Bruce Willis is a ghost at the end of The Sixth Sense, but believe me that it’s there and its a very real horror in this world. Once you finally finish the movie and ponder what the Babadook symbolizes, you will lose sleep, but isn’t that the point of horror. To take the real things that frighten us and make them feel like they could be waiting for you at the doorstep?

T: As much of a devoted fan to scary movies as I am, I am also equally notorious for giving scathing reviews to the genre. Like so many else, I seek the real adrenaline experience provided by the usual horror thrills: heart in throat, pee in pants. With that said, I also love good storytelling, which sadly is not a commonality within the medium. But then, every once in a while, a movie will come along and really steal your breath – but never yet return. That movie is The Babadook. From the very beginning you know this psychological thriller is special. Mostly because the kid in it is so freaking creepy. Seriously, was the casting call specifically requesting equally lovable yet deranged children who, on cue, can both be adorably charming and utterly unnerving? Where did this kid come from? But everyone in it is good – even the creepy monster in the pop-up book (that dude knows what he is doing). This allegory delves into the human psyche in the same vein as American Psycho or Black Swan – forcing you to really evaluate your own mind and recognize that, in us all, is the potential to really lose our shit. If that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is.

5 Red Vines – A truly disturbing allegory that gives credibility to the horror genre.

5 – No horror movie is perfect, but this is as close as it can get

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