Babadook (2014) Monster Madness X #3

Mike Matei / October 3rd, 2016

Babadook (2014) Monster Madness X movie review #3

NOTE: Oops. I meant to say William Friedkin, DIRECTOR of the Exorcist. Not writer.


  • Aaron

    October 3, 2016 at 4:27 am

    I took it as the Babadook represented grief (in this case her fixation on the death of her husband), and because the grief was so overwhelming, it manifested itself into a physical form. That’s just my take on the movie though. Great stuff as always, James!

    • Schizima

      October 3, 2016 at 7:34 am

      That’s pretty much it. I don’t see how it could be interpreted differently. It’s a woman losing her sanity over her personal loneliness and the creature she created is manifested in her subconscious.

      Obviously it’s told literally, but thematically that’s the idea. And babadook is an anagram for “a bad book”

      • NashKnight

        October 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm

        “And babadook is an anagram for “a bad book”” – wow, that’s a new one for me! I’ve also heard that Babadook is a distortion of “Mama look!”, a phrase the kid tortures his mother often when he’s being annoying.

  • bud

    October 3, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Hey, you did it!

    • TheFreakMachine

      October 3, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Who did what? 🙂

      • bud

        October 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm

        Listened to all our comments, apparently. Lots of people have been requesting this one for some time.

    • SuperMcRad

      October 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Film was released in Nov of 2014. It only skipped one Monster Madness circuit, wouldn’t really quantify that as “for some time.”

  • adam loewen

    October 3, 2016 at 4:58 am

    The praise for this movie just goes to show you that everyone’s sick of bad CG gimmicks which don’t look real (i.e. demon growling and biting at the camera ala Paranormal Activity), excessive gore, and cheap jump scares. Babadook reminded me what I like about horror. It’s about insanity, suspense, tone, fantasy, and what you don’t see. It wasn’t all that scary, but it felt to me something like Hellraiser or Elm Street, but actually managed to be classy, original, and artful.

    • Don Skiver

      October 3, 2016 at 6:43 am

      I think you have a great point my friend, because I, too, am personally sick and tired of bad CG gimmicks, excessive gore, and cheap jump scares.

      Give me some psychological horror, suspense, and thrills damn it!

    • jasonjrf

      October 3, 2016 at 8:33 am

      I also hate jump scares have said this for a while now. I go back and watch old horror like Elm street and Hellraiser because there aren’t jump scares. I specifically counted the jump scares in hellraiser one on one watching and I counted zero. I won’t even watch Horror movies if there PG13 anymore or found footage unless they get really good reviews.

      • Joker83

        October 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

        I also dislike the overuse of jump scares. however, jump scares still show up in plenty of terrific classics. take the original Halloween for example… lots of jump scares but still an awesome movie!

  • Lastor

    October 3, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Which one’s that again? William Friedkin DIRECTED The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty wrote it.

    Fan correction time. Had to be that guy.

  • October 3, 2016 at 5:08 am

    It was so so-so to me honestly. I wanted to like it, but it was just all too cliché and predictable.

  • FXguy

    October 3, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Yet again, James proves that his taste is exactly like mine with horror. Great job, man. The only thing I’d have to mention (and I realize it was just a slip) is that Friedkin directed The Exorcist, not wrote it. The author, as I’m sure you know, is William Peter Blatty.

    In any case, can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

  • October 3, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Just from listening to your telling of the film, I could immediately see that the fault could actually lie with the mother rather than the kid. Because she didn’t celebrate his birthday (or any parties of the likes), the kid does get miserable. And I think the book itself was that last thing that pushed her over the edge to become the “monster”.

    As for the book being something innocent turned dark, well, that’s what they call a Grimdark Fanfiction. Take something sweet and innocent, and bring out the darker side of a character. 😉

  • October 3, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I really hope you guys do Bone Tomahawk on one of these Modern Monday videos. It’s a wonderful, relatively overlooked horror western with a great cast and awesome gore effects.

    It’s a movie everyone should check out imo.

  • Larry Hood

    October 3, 2016 at 8:52 am

    It looked so stupid from the commercials, I still have not watched it yet. People on YouTube claim it’s one of the best movies ever made. I’m skeptical.

    • bud

      October 3, 2016 at 5:01 pm

      If you go in with those expectations, you’re sure to be disappointed. It’s a good movie but don’t expect the best ever made.

  • Fred . Fuchs

    October 3, 2016 at 9:24 am

    No, James, it’s not overrated. It’s one of the best modern horror movies. It’s psychological, smart, disturbing and it doesn’t rely on stupid jump scares.
    You don’t need to see the monster because what you don’t see is scarier of what you see (you said it too in another video).
    If you removed the monster, the mother would be crazy for nothing and you wouldn’t have the ambiguity about the monster’s existence.

  • juggernautakira

    October 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

    That, THAT is why this movie fell short with me. Plus, the ending… If you got a monster/ghost in the story, then own up to it. If this is a HORROR, it has to be there, otherwise, the movie, well made, is a lie.

  • October 3, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I liked this movie, but just feel like a blatant ripoff of the great czech avantgard director, Jan Svankmajer’s Little Otik.

  • MaximusPM

    October 3, 2016 at 10:59 am

    The thing is Th Babbadook is not even a “real” monster. It’s all in her head. She’s so disturbed and stressed and tired she actually imagines it, like some sort of mental disorder.

  • Joker83

    October 3, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Watched this based on the reputation of it being a really good new horror film and was SEVERLY disappointed. This movie sucked and I felt SO bad for the little kid in the movie as his mom and everyone was really mean to him. I just wanted the kid to yell SHAZAM and turn into a superhero. Not trying to troll, I legitimately think this movie is terribly overrated and lame. also BabaDuke is a really nonscary name for a monster. It’s like a mixture between BabaBooey and Duke (which sounds like dookie).
    horror is so subjective, the horror movies I like aren’t always scary to everyone, and movies like this that other people seem to like I find boring. oh well

    • bud

      October 3, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      BababooeyDookie would be a great parody.

  • ramo10

    October 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I really cant say that this movie is overrated, yes most critics who saw it praised it but even then, as much praise this movie got, its not like it was a huge commercial successful hit either (atleast not domesticly) and I feel like not enough people saw this movie. I cant agree either with that the monster should had been real, since thats would had gone against everything this movie was trying to tell, that like some has already commented that the movie was more psychological and really if we saw more of the monster than we did, I can honestly say the babadook would had been far less scary but I suppose it depends on mindset. though saying that the monster was pointless I feel isnt true either as it clearly was the representation of the mother decending into madness and also giving the ambiguity of whats real about it.

  • Koopa Bowser

    October 3, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    You re Next plz.

  • buck19

    October 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I’m hoping James reviews the movie Oculus next Monday

  • buck19

    October 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    I hope James reviews Oculus on one of the upcoming modern Mondays

  • danblukk

    October 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Please watch Adam Chaplin

  • TheFreakMachine

    October 3, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    There has always been something about this movie that just did not convinced me and, after listening this review i finally got it. The problem is in the story: it has none. It has good acting, good visuals and a wonderful narration rythm. IT has a good premise too but, after all is really almost just about “A mother goes crazy”. When james says that the monster seems just thrown in the middle that’s exactly what is. The same story could be rewritten like this: instead of finding the book the mother meets a man, he goes to live with them then bad things starts happening. Babaddok reminds me of Descent (see last monster madness 😉 but it just misses something. It is not psichological lacking a good character development and explanation and i find it hard to consider it a “true” horror movie. 4 stars. Out of ten. But check it out anyway: it disappointed me just a little.

  • Lozzo

    October 3, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I did not think this was a good movie and am still confused by the praise it gets…

  • Ras

    October 3, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    The Babadook looks like Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Besides that, I just can’t see myself having any interest in this.

    I wonder if the Babadook popup book is what was in Xins’ box of terror!

  • October 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    No playing clips still? T_T

    • Blutspan

      October 3, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Yeah, he’s reviewing movies, not photographs. When he praises Essie Davis’s acting, we should SEE her acting, not just pictures of her. It’s like James is talking and I almost have no idea what he’s talking about.

  • Paulballsftw

    October 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Do not say Babadook 3 times.

    • bud

      October 4, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

  • October 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I really think you missed the point of the film, James. I appreciate that the horror films you grew up with were monster movies, where the monster is the threat, but The Babadook isn’t a monster movie. The Babadook is a manifestation of the woman’s grief over the loss of her husband. That’s why it doesn’t do anything, it simply looms over her and causes her trouble. The Babadook actually has EVERYTHING to do with the story, and is the driving factor of why the relationship between the woman and her son is so distraught.

    • DMM_poo

      October 3, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      I haven’t seen the movie, but watching the review, it sounds like James’ point is that this is more of a dark drama than a horror movie, which your comment only seems to reinforce.

  • Ignacio Pellegrino

    October 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    why STILL IMAGES?? just boring reviews now? not fun on that, you can have that anywhere, your thing is the mix between reviews and fun stuff, and still images, difinitely makes it more boring.
    Sorry from my english,
    Greetings from ARGENTINA.

    • Blutspan

      October 3, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      This doesn’t seem like a good way to end such a great series.

  • DMM_poo

    October 3, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    This is one I will skip.

  • Adam Barhoum

    October 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Definitely have to check this one out.

  • October 4, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Finally someone feels the same about this movie as I do! Everyone praised it into oblivion, I watched it, and it was a family drama with a tacked on monster. Not bad, per se, but very meh, the same way I felt about “It follows”…

    One VERY good modern horror movie I would recommend James is “Oculus”. Basically a H. P. Lovecraft-esque idea done right on the big screen.

  • deckardsvr

    October 4, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I would like to know why my comment has been discarded, all i was saying was positive and cheerful i got a “thank you for your comment” two days ago and nothing since ?

  • fcabanski

    October 4, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    It sounds like an Italian monster, the Babadook Babaspook.

  • October 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    He said “carried the film”, James must play League

  • Nicholas Demos

    October 5, 2016 at 2:36 am

    This was one of the WORST POS movies I’ve seen. I was bored out of my mind. The metaphors about the loss of the father and the issues with the dysfunctional family go to waste one me since, frankly. IDGAF about neither of them. I felt ripped off. The trailer looked good though…
    I suppose people with kids/looking to have kids MIGHT see more of themselves there? Maybe? I hate kids (and parents when they have their kids around) so this movie was basically a torture test for me.

    • xalgolx

      October 6, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Totally felt the same way.

  • Pedro Belle

    October 5, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I wish James could review Dracula Untold for the next Modern Monday. I watched it at the theater and i didn’t liked very much but it’s worth reviewing

  • Owen Nash-Blair

    October 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Great episode!

  • xalgolx

    October 6, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Overrated is too much credit if you ask me.. I couldn’t stand this movie. I liked the concept, the acting was sound, but the kid made the movie entirely unbearable. Yes, he’s supposed to be annoying, yes.. he pulled that off.. but I don’t want to sit through an hour and a half of being annoyed, that’s not entertainment to me. Even super low budget stuff like Slashers, Birdemic, Bloodthirst: Legend of the Chupacabra.. not “good” movies, but fun to watch. This one failed on both fronts for me.

  • October 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Just finished this movie, I look at the title for what your reviewing and watch it before the review. I agree with what you’re saying and also didn’t notice the pallet of the house until you said. That’s cool trivia

  • October 9, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Nice assessment, James! I have to say, however, that even though I think the Babadook is indeed a manifestation of the grief felt by the mother, I also think it was meant to be taken as a literal demon. I don’t know that the mother would have committed some of the acts she does if she hadn’t been possessed by the Babadook (which is what happens when we see it descend on her and her eyes dilate–right?). So, yeah, I do think this is, in fact, a horror movie with a tangible monster. It’s just more layered than most.

  • TagaZok

    October 11, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I prefer this monster madness than last year … sorry Mike Monster madness is a classic with James.. I know you work you’re ass in those video so keep up the goodies of horror movie.

  • TagaZok

    October 11, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Babadook need to see…

  • Z Q

    October 11, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    James is mostly missing the point about the Babadook. It’s not supposed to be a “monster” It symbolizes the grief and depression the mother is coping with. The Babadook is simply a brilliant allegory.

  • Jacob Boeve

    October 4, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    The Babadook looks laughable to me, it just looks silly as hell

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