An Elegant Tale of Terror

The Babadook… an elegant tale of terror for Friday the 13th

Yes, it’s that time again… one of THREE Friday the 13ths in 2015. And what better way to celebrate than with the film Variety called an “accomplished and imaginative psychological horror tale.” The Babadook debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where Criticwire said “sometimes, you get to be part of the first audience to see an unknown filmmaker (Australian director Jennifer Kent) make her debut with a flat-out masterpiece.” Join us this weekend when you, too, can share that magical discovery experience which makes independent film so special.

The plot? Six years ago Amelia’s husband met a violent end, and she set out to raise their infant son on her own. But now little Samuel begins to behave erratically, driven by dreams of a monster he thinks is coming to kill both him and his mother. Then he finds a mysterious pop-up book called Mister Babadook—which features that very same monster. Amelia quells her son’s hallucinations with medication—but then she begins to feel and see the evil presence herself. The plot is full of surprises and story twists that never let up as the Babadook becomes more real and increasingly strange things begin to happen.

The Babadook is a combination of psychological tension and outright, jump-out-of-your-seat terror reminiscent of Polanski’s Repulsion or the work of James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious). The performances of Amelia (Essie Davis) and Samuel (Noah Wiseman) are energetic yet nuanced, and Kent quickly proves herself a master of the genre.

And don’t worry—it’s only a movie. After you loosen your grasp on your neighbor’s arm you’ll laugh at the experience and marvel at the artistry. At the Film Forum, horror doesn’t mean chain saws and creepy dolls but more psychological—yet still scary—fare. Cinema Australia called The Babadook “a white-knuckle knockout with a truly unique vision.” Orlando Weekly gave it five stars because “the tension is real, the scares are genuine and the end product is a classic horror masterpiece that deserves a place among the greats.”

The Babadook screens on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 at 7:30 pm and Sunday March 15 at 3 pm(matinee recommended for those who have trouble sleeping after scary films). General admission is $8; Film Forum members and students with I.D. pay $6. Join us for a Film Forum Hangout after the movie on Sunday, at 5 pm at Harvey’s Irish Pub on Phila St. Order a drink or snack and enjoy an informal discussion about the film with fellow forumers. For more information about the Film Forum please visit, or call 584-9723.

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