The Babadook. 2014. AU. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. With Eddie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Daniel Henshall, Barbara West, Ben Winspear. 94 min.
The 2014 release of Jennifer Kent’s debut feature marks a shift in the genre. Her film launched a new generation of horror filmmakers who deal with PTSD and the aftermath of trauma; now we see what happens after a woman survives a horrible event and how she deals with it. Six years after her husband’s death in a violent car crash, Essie is trying to keep it together as her young son’s disturbing behavior increases. He believes a monster, the Babadook, has emerged from the pages of a book…and he’s not wrong. A startling evocation of grief, survivor’s guilt, motherhood, and recovery, The Babadook gives one of the first poignant examples of the stories that emerge when women control the narrative.