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The Babadook

Directed by Jennifer Kent
2013
Australia
94 minutes
M
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In Jennifer Kent’s thrilling debut, a single mother (Essie Davis) and her six-year-old son (Noah Wiseman) are haunted by the mysterious ‘Mr. Babadook’.

Amelia (Essie Davis), who lives with her small son Samuel (Noah Wiseman) in the Adelaide suburbs, hasn’t recovered from the death of her husband in a car accident six years earlier. Samuel is hyperactive and not easy to deal with and Amelia, who works in a home for the elderly, is having difficulty finding carers for him. Samuel discovers a book, Mr. Babadook, with a bright red cover and sinister pop-up drawings inside. He persuades his mother to read it to him, and in doing so she unwittingly unleashes the Babadook, who becomes an evil presence in the house. In her first film, Kent demonstrates how to make a chillingly effective horror movie on a small budget, and the result is greatly superior to most American productions made on a similar scale and with similar intentions. Davis is superb as the increasingly terrified mother, and young Wiseman gives a really remarkable performance as the troubled, at times demonic, child. Kent creates horror through suggestion, not through boringly explicit imagery, and the result is one of the creepiest, most satisfying movies of its type of any nationality in quite a while.

Festival guest: Kristina Ceyton

Tickets

Mon 10 June
3pm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
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Year
2013
Classification
M
Country
Australia
Language
In English
Director
Jennifer Kent
Producer
Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere
Cast
Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall
Screenwriter
Jennifer Kent
Cinematographer
Radek Ladczuk
Editor
Simon Njoo
Program Strand
David Stratton Selects
Company Credits
Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
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