babdook

Bluray Review: THE BABADOOK

image003The film that made countless best of 2014 lists (including mine) hits DVD/Bluray today, courtesy of the new partnership between the folks at Scream Factory and IFC Midnight…that’s right, Jennifer Kent’s greatly entertaining film, THE BABADOOK. Available in a regular edition, as well as a limited pop-up cover Bluray edition that resembles the book itself, some have asked whether or not the SF/IFC partnership would include the special features that many of Scream Factory’s releases have carried, and the answer is…well, read on!


 

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THE FILM:

When it comes to fresh, exciting and smart horror, Jennifer Kent’s feature debut is one that easily lives up the hype it gathered throughout festivals and an impressive theatrical run in 2014. The story of a woman and her troubled son, dealing with loss and unable to properly mourn and cope, is such an entertaining and visual treat. Essie Davis absolutely destroys viewers as a mother trying her hardest to just get by, all while feeling such a disconnect between her and her son, a troubled little boy who, like his mother, doesn’t know how to deal with their loss, so when that loss is manifested through a book the boy finds, the mother and son are put in danger by unleashing the book’s creature, Mister Babadook.

The darkness that comes into the mother and son’s lives is one of such impressive designs, with a minimalist approach that Kent employs very well. It’s not a creature that we as viewers latch onto so easily, it’s the story in which there has to be somewhat of a coming to terms with things in order to not only survive, but to address a pain and despair that both characters are feeling. While the mother keeps quiet and hasn’t been able to realize what’s needed, her son deals with things by acting out, making not only his fellow children dislike him, but also his mother. It’s an intense time, THE BABADOOK, one that isn’t in your face like a lot of horror films, but is more of a subtle punch to the gut, and a story that is so easy to get on board with.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The way to go with SF/IFC Midnight’s choices between the standard DVD, Bluray and the special edition Bluray is most definitely the special edition, as it not only includes interviews and behind the scenes material that will please fans of the film, but also has the addition of a special pop-up packaging and MONSTER, the short film of Kent’s that inspired the feature version of the story. It’s great to see the genesis of not only the character but also the vision of the film, in the form of the short film, and is a good reference point on how something can be expanded into something greater and bigger and even more effective.

Other standout special features included on all versions is a really interesting look at the creation of the books in the film, with artist Alex Juhasz, as well as a really in depth interview with Davis about her demanding role as the mother.

With THE BABADOOK, CLASS OF 1984 and CARRIE (2002)/THE RAGE: CARRIE 2 (1999) all hitting shelves today, Scream Factory seems to have something for everyone, and Kent’s story of facing your demons and overcoming them is most definitely a must own for fans of metaphorical storytelling and of great films in general.