Ever since Paranormal Activity, horror films have followed a certain formula, either they are “found footage” films, or they are filmed like them. They also tend to rely on well-known actors walking around dimly lit buildings with sinister sounding violins playing in the background (see Daniel Radcliffe in ‘The Woman in Black’, or Patrick Wilson in ‘The Conjuring). In light of this, ‘The Babadook’ is a break away from what is now a norm for horror movies.
Now, going in to watch this movie I had mixed expectations, as while the trailer gave me the spooks, so did The Conjuring’s, and although reviews of it were very good, it had been a really long while since a horror movie that was anything near frightening came out. I am delighted, then, to say that this movie properly scared me. Where most movie tension comes from it being dark, and the fear of a really loud noise being just around the corner. Babadook creates tension from your emotional link with the characters, you feel their pain, so when shit hits the fan you really worry for their wellbeing. It does also employ the use of the creepiest book known to man, a truly evil looking central monster – that while you never fully see it, just enough is seen to send you hiding behind whatever object is closest – and some genuinely horrifying sound effects to ensure that, even if you are hiding behind that object you found, you are still going to be terrified. Beautifully sinister filmmaking.