The Babadook (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
“Baba dook dook dook!!!“
Director: Jennifer Kent – Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight & Tim Purcell – Synopsis: a single mother, haunted by the death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but she soon discovers an evil presence all around her – Overall: Scary & well acted horror films are quite a rarity these days, sadly we live in a movie world of endless remakes that only a quarter of which are decent and the rest once watched sit gathering dust amongst our film collection’s SO as you can imagine when I came across this film, a horror that felt so personal, so dark and one that left the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention I DECIDED that I should shout the praise to all and sundry, to whomever would listen and most of all to the those who love a good old fashioned scare !! The Babadook starts with a thump, within its first 15mins I was already invested in its characters, I felt for Samuel we’ve all been there scared of the demons in our closet or under our bed – and I sympathized with Amelia Samuel’s mum, tortured by her loss, fighting to keep her own sanity and trying to bring up her son in a somewhat normal existence. Being a big fan of the horror genre and not easily scared by things that go bump in the night I was surprised by how haunting an effect Jennifer Kent’s film-making debut had on me, the story also written by Kent is almost like a ghost story of yesteryear, the majority of which is set inside a creepy house in the suburbs that adds to the movies scare, giving you the sense of confinement, suffocating you, a movie cabin fever that just keeps building, and building and building – of course along with its terrific story, it’s effective Kubrick-esque camerawork & an eerie score that at times would make your heart beat twice as quick – filmmaker Jennifer Kent also had to find an actress that would help bring her creation to life, become this broken women, this mum who would do unspeakable things and in Aussie Essie Davis she found exactly that, if I tell you that Essie Davis delivers the best horror performance for an actress since Shelley Duvall went visiting the Overlook in Kubrick’s The Shining then you know that this performance and this movie is something very special – Essie captures Amelia’s vulnerability, she’s a mother unhinged, you can almost feel her pain & you witness her terror as things really do go bump in the night. The Babadook is a nail biting, pillow hiding, lights on kinda horror that’s very reminiscent of early Polanski with splashes of Hitchcock, Kubrick and the imagination of Roald Dahl thrown in – the use of the illustrated book throughout is a master stroke, it’s images are effective and its words within pretty scary – there are some spoiler scenes throughout the movie that pull at the heart strings and these are only possible due to Kent’s groundwork in building characters you truly care for – I can’t remember many filmmakers making their horror movie debut with such gusto but Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is up there with the very best of them ! This is one subtle, chilling horror that deserves your attention – just make sure you lock all the doors first….
SOMEONE MARRY BARRY (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Rob Pearlstein – Cast: Tyler Labine, Damon Wayans, Jr., Lucy Punch, Hayes MacArthur & Thomas Middleditch – Synopsis: Three friends selfishly decide to rid themselves of their inappropriate best friend Barry (Labine) by finding him a wife – but when Barry meets Melanie (Punch) a woman just like him and someone he connects with the friends troubles double – Verdict: There’s something loveable, charming and downright hilarious about Canadian actor Tyler Labine, he fills the screen with an almost John Candy presence playing the life of the party, downtrodden, loveable rogue so so well and is slowly emerging as a reliable leading man – in his latest outing Someone Marry Barry Tyler Labine is simply outrageous them early scenes at the funeral had me in stitches and his chemistry with the quirky British actress Lucy Punch who also starred with Labine in the Horror Comedy Cottage Country is a delight to watch – Overall I found myself having so much fun with Someone Marry Barry – Rob Pearlstein’s screenplay is 87mins of romantic hilarity and if like me your a fan of Tyler Labine’s work then this movie will certainly not disappoint….
From Seth MacFarlane the man who brought us the hilarious TED comes A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST a new comedy western following a coward of a farmer who seeks the help of a gunslinger’s wife to help him win back the woman who deserted him – the film stars Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman – here’s some brilliant character posters along with the new redband (adults only) trailer…. Enjoy!
A Million Ways to Die in the West – US (30th May) – UK (6th June) – Australia (29th June)