‘If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of… The Babadook’.
Grief is one of the most powerful experiences a human can go through. It can manifest itself in a myriad of different ways. It could for example lead to you to resent and dislike your own child, to see the ghost of your dead husband and relive his death over and over again, to subconsciously invent a demonic figure that represents all your pent up feelings, to unknowingly draw a picture book in which you are depicted as murdering your dog and child, to possibly actually murder your dog and child. These are all possible interpretations of what happens in The Babadook, an Australian horror film released last year that was written and directed by Jennifer Kent. Or maybe The Bababook is a real supernatural entity and the whole thing is a more cerebral version of a million ‘family in peril’ haunted house films (a sub-genre that truly recently bottomed out with A Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia). Or maybe it’s both.
The number of explanations and analyses one can have over the events in The Babadook isn’t a criticism. Being spoon-fed every tiny detail and clue to mystery is boring, unentertaining and a little bit insulting. The Babadook is not boring, it entertained the hell of out me and it assumes its audience has an IQ higher than that of a turnip (Three counts which Ghosts of Georgia definitely failed at).