Why "The Babadook" is the Greatest Horror Film Ever Made

Why "The Babadook" is the Greatest Horror Film Ever Made

If it's in a word or it's in a look, you can't ignore how frightening this film is.

Well, it’s October, and that can only mean one thing: spending copious hours huddled under a blanket watching horror movies while gobbling unhealthy amounts of candy corn and cackling maniacally. Okay, maybe that’s just me, but my point stands: Halloween is in the horizon, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than watching scary movies.

Why bring this up? Well, amidst all the horror classics that I’m sure you might dredge up for a midnight watch, you might not have heard of a little, Australian production called "The Babadook," and that’s a shame because "The Babadook" is hands down, the most terrifying horror film ever made.

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look. Here are three reasons why "The Babadook" is the best horror movie ever made.

1. The visuals of the film are enough to give you the willies for weeks.

Let’s be completely honest with ourselves here: in most horror movies (slashers especially) the villains simply aren’t that intimidating. I mean, take a look at Jason Voorhees.

Pictured: Hockey-Man goes for a midnight swim.

Past the whole “soul-less” gaze thing, poor ol’ Jason doesn’t really have much going for him. He looks more janitorial than homicidal. Now, let’s take a moment to look at the elusive monster from "The Babadook," shall we?

And that, kids, I why I don’t sleep anymore.

This…thing is the Babadook. It’s a horrifying monstrosity that watches you while you sleep. I could comment how it’s design is a brilliant combination of visual character and German Expressionism, but let’s be real here and just leave it at: “this is the scariest thing I have ever seen in my waking life.”

Okay, but this is just a drawing of the Babadook. Surely the real thing isn’t that bad…


2. The Babadook doesn’t need to jump scare to freak you out.

A common complaint about horror movies that I hear is that people don’t like jump scares. Fair enough, they’re only somewhat startling, and after they’re done, they don’t leave much of an impact.

That’s why "The Babadook" has almost no jump scares in the entirety of its ninety-five minutes. It has a few, but they’re downplayed.

Tension is the star of the show here folks. Every scene has a constant dread in it as you wait for the Babadook to come slouching out of the shadows to eat someone’s face, possess them, or otherwise, make the main characters' lives terrible.

To be fair, you wouldn't get much sleep either after seeing this thing.

In fact, a good portion of the film is spent in silent dread. The movie understands that what you don’t see is as frightening as what you do see, and it uses this to mess with your head.

3. It knows its roots and it uses them.

"The Babadook" is a clever film, because it knows that it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel. It just needs to make the wheel a whole lot scarier than the films before it.

"The Babadook" takes a lot of influence from other movies, and it knows its place in film history. It has studied horror films produced before it, and it has improved on everything.

Here’s an example: the style of the film relies heavily on chiaroscuro. (That is the use of light and darkness to convey the mood of a scene, for those of you who haven’t studied Renaissance art.) Well, before "The Babadook" used chiaroscuro to scare the pants off you, a little 1920 German film called "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" did it first.

Actually, come to think of it, how do we know Dr. Caligari isn’t the Babadook?

That’s not all. The whole descent into madness that the film chronicles (I won’t spoil it anymore) seems decidedly Gothic in nature—something in the lines of an Edgar Allen Poe piece—and to be as vague as possible, "The Babadook" seems to have been inspired by "The Exorcist," another super spooky film.

Hey, look! More nightmare fuel!

So, if you’re looking for a frightening flick to spend time with this Halloween, why not check out "The Babadook"? There’s a lot here I’ve not gone into (I could praise the writing in the film for days, to say nothing of sound design or performance), but if you like scary movies, there’s nothing better. "The Babadook" is on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bowl of worms to take to the basement to feed the nightmare creature living there.

Cover Image Credit: http://agirlsguidetohorror.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/the-babadook.jpg

Popular Right Now

13 Style Mistakes Every Girl Made In The 2000s

Hide your selfies.

1. Crimped Hair

2. Straightened Side Bangs With Curly Hair

3. Jeans under skirts

4. A "poof" with two braids

...thanks Lizzie Mcguire

5. The solo "poof" with straight hair

Lauren Conrad made this acceptable, right?

6. All silver or light blue eye shadow

7. Too Much Eyeliner

8. "Emo" hair

9. Ponchos

10. Tank Tops Over T-Shirts

11. Those "shrug" Half Sweaters that tied in the middle *cringe*

12. The uggs, graphic t, jean skirt, and leggings combo.

13. Stretching our tank tops way down under a tight T-shirt... Layers are trendy, right?

Cover Image Credit: College Fashion

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

4 Simple Ways to Prepare for a Successful Week

Plan on a Sunday. Play on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…you get the memo.


1. Create a to-do list

Laying out the scope of your week on paper will give you the opportunity to clearly see the projects, events, and activities you will be working on for the upcoming week. Not only will this give you the chance to manage your time accordingly throughout each day, but it will also allow you to see your progress along the week as you begin to cross your tasks off. An important thing to remember about to-do lists is that they are fluid—meaning things can get added or eliminated as your week progresses and things begin to unfold.

2. Prioritize your to-do list.

Establishing a clear order within your to-do list will give you the opportunity to have a starting point. This starting point will allow you to clearly see the tasks that require immediate attention and those that will continue to unfold throughout the week. A crucial aspect that comes along with prioritizing to-dos is scheduling clear timeslots to begin and finish tasks. In addition to providing a sense of structure, timeslots will allow you to fully focus on one activity at a time rather than attempt to complete many over a few hours. Through this process, you will realize the power that clear deadlines for each task in terms of your time-management and organization skills—helping you complete each task in no time.

3. Schedule reminders on your phone for big deadlines

Do you have a big test this week? A major internship or job interview? A fun event on campus that you don't want to miss?

Setting up reminders on your phone will provide quick follow-ups on what's to come and will also give you a clear idea of the days when you have more downtime.

4. Write down 2-3 activities you will do for fun.

You read that right…plan for fun! Even if you are approaching a hectic week, it is important to schedule time for some self-care. Do you enjoy working out? Having a spa day with your roommate? Catching the latest episode of your favorite show?

Whatever some of your favorite pastimes may be, it is imperative to set time aside to relax, reflect, and recharge. Most importantly, as you find some time to enjoy yourself remember to BE PRESENT. Don't think about the things that still need to get done tonight, tomorrow, or three days from now…focus instead on fully engaging in the activities you are participating in. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later!

Related Content

Facebook Comments