The Babadook ★★★★
A scary movie for our socially fractured times, but one that mercifully doesn’t rely on graphic gore, The Babadook is the astonishingly assured, sensibly budgeted and original debut by Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent (expanded from her own short). Essie Davis (The Slap) is the stressed suburban Adelaide widow whose six-year-old (Noah Wiseman) becomes infatuated with the eponymous cloaked monster in a pop-up storybook. Weird things occur that suggest perhaps the psychologically delicate boy is causing them, but we are never sure how much is real and how much is in his – or his tired mother’s – mind. I will say no more. But it’s not to be missed.
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