Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent’s intelligent, impeccably designed creepfest about a single mom, her adorable nutbar son, and a sinister picture book draws on organically frightening elements—darkness, silence, old black-and-white cartoons, and silent films—to create an unsettling trespass into the unspeakable emotional conflict between parents and children, and the different kinds of violence it can unlock. An instant classic in the tradition of post-Hammer British horror with a kinky, Tim Burton–esque visual sensibility, The Babadook isn’t the kind of horror film that makes you scared to look under the bed. It’s the kind that makes you scared to look in the mirror (93 min.).
Director: Jennifer Kent
Producer: Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere, Jan Chapman, Jeff Harrison, Jonathan Page and Michael Tear
Cast: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Cathy Adamek, Benjamin Winspear and Craig Behenna