daily stream: the power of personal demons
2014’s *The Babadook* is available on numerous services on both sides of the Atlantic
I’ve recently started suggesting, with each new review I post, two similar films you might enjoy as an accompaniment. With the French single-mom suspense thriller Full Time, I suggested the 2014 Australian single-mom horror drama The Babadook: both films treat motherhood — and in particular when a woman is raising kids on her own — as a physically and psychologically trying endeavor. I don’t recommend horror films lightly, because mostly they don’t scare me, but this is a rare exception. From my 2014 review:
The Babadook is a horror flick with rare emotional and psychological resonance…. And it’s so simple, really. All it does is put a single mom, Amelia (Essie Davis), and her six-year-old son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), in the pressure cooker of their own sad, gray, near-empty house; stir in Amelia’s exhaustion and inability to cope with Sam’s constant demands for attention and general little-boy rambunctiousness; and top it all with the palpable absence of Amelia’s husband, Sam’s father, who was killed in a car crash years earlier.
Oh, but I love the ambiguity inherent in what happens next! A spooky kids’ picture book called Mister Babadook appears on Sam’s bedroom shelf…
I’ll leave you to discover what happens next, if you haven’t already. If you have, it might be time for a revisit.
US: stream on IFC Films Unlimited and AMC+ (both via Prime); rent/buy at Prime and Apple TV
UK: stream on Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Shudder (via Prime); rent at Curzon Home Cinema; rent/buy at Prime and Apple TV
See The Babadook at Letterboxd for more viewing options.
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