This feature, like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, is an economic and very effective film. A small, tightly-made, low-budget feature, Ms. Kent's film produces big thrills. Amelia, the mother, and her sensitive little boy, Samuel, live in a big neighborhood house. The colors are muted, like Amelia's life. We see no bright, fun colors in the decor. You do see red. That's the red of the pop-up storybook Amelia reads to Samuel.
Strange things begin to happen at Amelia's home. Things go bump in the night. Amelia proves to her son and the dog that there's no boogie man under the bed.
We start to wonder if Samuel is gradually being possessed by The Babadook.
Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman are terrific as the tormented mother and son. The Babadook got high praise and recommendations from William Friedkin on Twitter. He directed a horror classic that also had a single mother, her young child and a malevolent presence possessing their home. That movie was 1973's The Exorcist. Writer/director Jennifer Kent must be very proud of that praise. As well she should be.