Motherhood can be hard, but for widowed mother Amelia (Essie Davis) it is nigh on impossible. Samuel (Noah Wiseman), her son, is terrified of monsters under his bed and is insistent that he is going to catch them and kill them. It gets to the point where he makes weapons and takes them to school with him leading to his suspension. Amelia has to cope with an increasing lack of sleep trying to control him and bedtime stories just cannot cut it. One of these stories is a pop-up book telling the tale of the Babadook, a terrifying monster that kills non-believers. Naturally, this does nothing to help Samuel's fears, but Amelia starts to experience things that make her question the irrationality of being scared of the Babadook.
They say never work with animals or children but Noah Wiseman proves that rule is absolute nonsense, or at least half of it is. Without a doubt, the most chilling scenes of the film are rooted in Wiseman's performance. Shrieking in the back of the car, shouting at an unseen threat, Wiseman raises the hair on your arms and the back of your neck. Essie Davis, too, descends brilliantly into madness with her son. As the Babadook becomes more powerful, the conflicts between mother and son heighten in intensity thanks to the pair's impeccable acting ability.
The Babadook is not only one of the finest horror films since the turn of the millennium, but in a world of reboots and sequels, it has brought a new and original sense of fear back into the cinema.
Best Bit? Samuel screaming in the back of the car before coming to a sudden, staring silence. There's a presence with him but we can't see it. It's the middle of the day. The Babadook does not work in the confines of darkness, he is there constantly; we just can't see it... yet.