You can’t get rid of the…(slight spoiler)
Babadook. I’m a horror film fan. Recently I stumbled across the Australian/Canadian 2014 film Babadook on Netflix and decided to give it a whirl. My usual go to is gore. I gravitate this way because I appreciate special effects. Today’s trend however, paranormal thinkers.
I don’t love paranormal because I’ve had an event once and it still scares the living day lights out of me when I recall the details of it. Paranormal films make me feel like in some regard this could happen again, and trust me, I don’t need anymore reruns of that stuff.
Still how can I resist the opportunity for a thrilling film? I can’t so, I watch. Babadook is about a mother and son pairing. The mother lost her husband in a tragic accident the night the son was born. Nearly 7 years later the mother clearly hasn’t dealt with her grief and the son has developed vast behavioral issues and the Babadook is introduced through a children’s novel he randomly and mysteriously selects at bedtime.
The movie dives into a roller coaster of emotions and events and I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout. The underlying tone is that you can’t get rid of the Babadook. The films ending was so intriguing to me, my husband looked it up. It appears that the story that the Babadook wishes to tell…is grief.
As you all know psychologists claim there are 5 stages to the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. All necessary to grieve. We see the mother go through all of these stages as she deals with the Babadook.
She’s in denial for 7 years. She is in such denial over her husbands death that she doesn’t even speak of him or allow her neighbor or sister to. She’s practically shut out the entire world. She’s also in denial about her sons behavior until the Babadook enters the picture.
Her denial turns to anger as her son becomes fixated on the Babadook and acting out more prominently. She becomes angry with the son, blaming him for the death of her husband. Had she not had to deliver him, her husband would still be alive.
Bargaining was tricky…I had to get my husbands opinion on this one because I didn’t see it. But indeed there was bargaining. At one point she convinced herself that her deceased husband told her to bring the son to him and that everything would be okay then. That would have actually been delivering him to the Babadook.
Depression. The whole movie portrayed depression. She missed work, made up excuses, just wanted to sleep. Didn’t want to deal with anything.
Finally acceptance. There’s a turning point in the film where she thinks she is victorious and the son says “you can’t get rid of the Babadook”. If you’ve seen it, you know what happens next. It’s my favorite part. However, the movie does reach acceptance before it concludes and they portray it brilliantly. The message is that grief never goes away, but you can learn to adjust to it and live a full life.
The mother, played by Essie Davis, is brilliant. If you fancy horror of any genre you will really enjoy this film. And now having this bit of background, I hope you enjoy it that much more. But now that you’ve become acquainted with the Babadook… Just know that you’ve made a “friend” for life.
Good luck. 😳