The Babadook (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Babadook2014

The Babadook (2014)



Critic Consensus: The Babadook relies on real horror rather than cheap jump scares -- and boasts a heartfelt, genuinely moving story to boot.

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Movie Info

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her 'out of control' 6 year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel's dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called 'The Babadook' turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he's been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son's behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real. (C) IFC

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Barbara West
as Mrs. Roach
Tim Purcell
as The Babadook
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight
as Supermarket Mom
Peta Shannon
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 2
Michael Gilmour
as Young Policeman 1
Adam Morgan
as Police Sergeant
Michelle Nightingale
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 3
Pippa Wanganeeh
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 1
Pippa Wanganeen
as Eastern Suburbs Mom 1
Lotte Crawford
as Kissing Woman
Lucy Hong
as Supermarket Little Girl
Chris Roberts
as Kissing Man
Tony Mack
as Principal
Sophie Riggs
as Checkout Chick
Craig McArdle
as Young Policeman 2
Sophie Allan
as Fast Food Kid 5
Isla Zorkovic
as Fast Food Kid 2
Ethan Grabis
as Fast Food Kid 4
Annie Batten
as Old Woman in Corridor
India Zorkovic
as Fast Food Kid
Charlie Crabtree
as Fast Food Kid
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Critic Reviews for The Babadook

All Critics (242) | Top Critics (66)

Nestled deep within this teeny Australian thriller packs a simple yet profound message about what it often feels like to be a single parent, and even what it feels like to be the child of that parent.

September 1, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The Babadook's villains and victims are still running amok in my brain. I think they might be there for some time.

October 5, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

What's most terrifying about The Babadook is that Kent grounds a bizarre supernatural premise in very real feelings of anxiety and depression.

October 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Davis gives one of the best performances you will see this, or in any other, year.

October 5, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The style of the film is not teasing exactly -- it's too sad and lonely -- but there is certainly a hair-pulling mixture of glum laughter and vast apprehension. Is the demon real? Does it matter?

October 5, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A deftly inventive and psychologically charged horror story that trades on the ways in which the prospect of maternal failure can be just as fearsome a boogeyman as any monster under the bed.

October 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Babadook

While I can appreciate the film's effort to get its scares from the classic tropes like dark corners, creaky doors and creepy sound effects, it all falls apart by the limitation of (unlikable) characters and the rather predictable plot. It would have worked as a scary tale about grief, insomnia and depression too, but doesn't explore all those themes enough, instead favoring a classic film monster after all. Missed opportunities all around and, worst of all, the second half gets increasingly annoying and you just want it to be over. Check out this film at

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


If the horror genre could be summed up with one pithy saying, I imagine it might be "it's out to get you", whatever "it" might be. With this interesting take, Australian writer/director Jennifer Kent (gasp! a woman!! In horror???) offers that one's own thoughts and feelings might be the source of the terror, unresolved guilt and malignant feelings, a vibe directly from the iconic "The Innocents". The creep and subsequent attack are worthy of the genre, especially the most horrible "am I dreaming this, is this really happening?!?" staple. Good stuff.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


It is always a wonderful surprise to see an intelligent horror film with such profound psychological and emotional scope, making use of a rich symbolism to tell the story of a woman who succumbs to her own inner shadow and is forced to confront it as it takes over her sanity.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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