Because the world isn’t terrifying enough already, we present a short trailer for The Babadook, Jennifer Kent’s Sundance sensation: An Australian horror film about a widowed mother, her disturbed son, and the children’s book that just won’t leave them alone. That book, The Babadook, warns them about a funny man in a hat and a long coat, who will knock on their closet doors at night, hover over their beds, and gradually drive them into a murderous madness. Not long after mother and son read the book for the first time, everything in it starts to come true, as seen in the nerve-wracking footage below (presented by Total Film).
The trail of the tape
Title: The Babadook
Director: Jennifer Kent
Screenwriter: Jennifer Kent
Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
Release date: November 28, 2014
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “It isn’t real. It isn’t real. It’s just… a book.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
The Babadook was one of the best films I saw at Sundance, “midnight movie” or otherwise. In my coverage, I wrote:
“On an intellectual level, I could tell you that what makes The Babadook so brilliant is how it ties its scares to something real, and more deeply frightening than any boogeyman: namely the loss of a spouse, and the fear that an unusual child will become a lifelong burden. But none of that would matter (much) if The Babadook didn’t work so well on a visceral level. Simply put: This movie is absolutely terrifying, from its guttural croaks (“baaa baaa dook dook dooooook…”) to the creepy design of The Babadook itself… The Babadook plays rough, beginning its assault on the heroine—and the audience—so much earlier than most films of this type that at one point I checked my watch and got a little nervous when I saw that there was still an hour to go.”
I’m looking forward to more people getting to see this film come November, when it’s due for release here in the states. It’s rare to see a modern horror film that’s as thematically rich and deeply scary as The Babadook. And it’s well-acted to boot, with unnervingly real performances by the two leads. They, and the movie, are going to get into a lot of people’s heads.