Blu-ray Review: The Babadook

what's under the bed?

If all you had to go on were the countless upbeat social media posts and photo galleries we see every day, parenting might seem like a walk in the park chock full of magic moments. That every day will bring a new and amazing revelation about your beautiful, bright and creative little genius. Spoiler alert: It won’t. Bringing up a child is hard. Very hard. When you have to do it on your own, without a strong support network, it can become overwhelming. That’s when The Babadook appears.

Amelia (Essie Davis) has brought up her six-year-old Samuel (Noah Wiseman) alone following the death of her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth. Life is hard and her son is becoming increasingly difficult and problematic. Obsessed with monsters and preparing himself to fight them. The pressure of dealing with his relentlessly erratic behaviour, trying to pay the bills and her unresolved grief takes a greater toll each day. Then a strange book appears on his shelf…

The Babadook captures the twin pressures of loss and single parenting, kneading them into a hauntingly tense and anxiety-inducing horror. Davis is incredibly as a woman on the verge of a mental breakdown, her faced etched with stress and suffering, while Wiseman’s performance is all too real. Jennifer Kent’s feature debut mixes supernatural terror with quotidianly dread, making The Babadook a frighteningly relatable and visually intense slice of genre cinema.

Special features:

  • 4K / Blu-ray dual format release
  • 4K mastered by the original post production facility and presented in HDR10
  • Audio Commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson
  • This Is My House!: An interview with Essie Davis
  • The Sister: interview with Hayley McElhinney
  • Don’t Let It In: An interview with Kristina Ceyton
  • Conjuring Nightmares: An interview with Kristian Moliere
  • Shaping Darkness: an interview with Simon Njoo
  • If It’s in a Name or in a Look: interview with Alex Holmes
  • The Bookmaker: an interview with Alexander Juhasz
  • Ba-Ba-Ba…Dook!: An interview with Jed Kurzel
  • Monster: short film
  • They Call Him Mister Babadook: The Making Of
  • There’s No Place Like Home: Creating the House
  • Special Effects: Stabbing Scene
  • The Stunts                                    
  • Illustrating Evil: Creating the Book

Limited-edition contents:

  • Rigid slipcase with new artwork by Peter Diamond
  • 150-page hardback book with new essays by Daniel Bird, Anna Bogutskaya, Kat Ellinger, Rich Johnson, Jon Towlson and Laura Venning, archive interview with Jennifer Kent, production stills and original artwork concepts.
  • 6 collectors’ art cards

The Babadook is released on limited-edition Blu-ray and 4K UHD by Second Sight on 26 July.

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