Saturday, June 27, 2015
“The Babadook” is a work of implicit realizations, of painful memories that rise to the surface when two wounded souls encounter a malevolent force lurking in the shadows of their home, and attempt to disarm it without understanding its underlying nature. Why has it drifted out of obscurity to stalk them? Most urban lore suggests that such beings exist because they feed on the negative emotions of others. It is the requirement of this plot, therefore, to tether the entity to those who represent the extremes of that value. Consider the deadened demeanor of Amelia (Essie Davis), who occupies space as a withdrawn woman incapable of escaping self-imposed isolation. That reality comes from a distant memory: the moment when, on the way to the hospital to deliver her son, her loving husband was killed while driving their car. She survived the crash, and so did the unborn son; years later, there is an indifference in her to the possibility of moving on, and her heart is frozen in a stasis of unending grief. Adding to that tragic implication is the personality of her son, whose wide traumatic eyes and shrill voice are the outlet for a very vivid imagination that believes ghosts and demons are always lurking under the bed. Watching him, one can only imagine what fate has in store for his adult years.