There is always something about writer/directors and their first movies that suck you in and give you an insight into their artistic voice and Babadook does just that for Jennifer Kent. Unlike most horror films that follow the adventures of youth, teens in particular, Babadook follows the journey of motherhood.
We follow Amelia Vanek as she does the best think she can as a widowed mother of a lonely boy. She is over-worked and doesn't get near enough sleep and all of this is made worse when her son starts to act weirder and weirder. He can't sleep and starts building weapons to fight a monster that haunts him. It drives her insane, and well that's the point.
Over the course of the film we see how the lack of sleep and the meddling of the Babadook in her life slowly pushes her over the edge. It's all made worse when her son brings a crossbow to school, let me just say that the fact that this little kid can build his own weapons is very cool, needless to say he gets in trouble and his mother now has to deal with other people trying to get involved in their lives. She'll have none of it and takes her son out of school.
Her son and his "imaginary" monster pushes away all of his mother's friends and family leaving the two of them alone. Pushing her farther along down the crazy train. This film, unlike a lot of horror movies, really dives into the lives and hardships of it's characters.
While yes, there is a monster in this film, that's not what the film is about. The film, at it's heart, is about a single mother attempting to do everything on her own and her son who being a kid can't make it easy for her.
Without wanting to give too much away, when Amelia confronts Babadook, she is really confronting the outside world and the way in which it views single mothers. It makes her overcoming the Babadook that much more significant. It really is a single mother standing up and telling the world that she can do, she can make it on her own, raise and protect her son as well as any man.
Amelia also grows to accept her sons eccentricities, embracing his making of weapons and his cute magic tricks. Their little family grows closer and she accepts her own place in the world. This is a truly inspiring and empowering film about motherhood and I believe everyone should give it a view.
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