For my money, one of the best movies of 2014, and one of the best horror movies of the last decade, was the Australian export The Babadook, the feature debut from writer-director Jennifer Kent. The film follows a widowed mother of a severely troubled 7-year-old boy and how her exhaustion and frustration are compounded when she and her son mysteriously find a creepy book called Mister Babadook in the house. Things, of course, get even worse when she starts seeing the titular boogieman all around her. It couldn’t be real, could it? It has to just be her son’s imagination, right? Far from being a startle-and-gore style movie, The Babadook is an exploration in tension, dread, pathos, love, fear, despair, depression, insanity, and ultimately what it means to be a mother. So, some pretty heavy stuff beyond Blood and Boo.
The film comes out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, April 14th, from our friends at Scream Factory and they’ve given us an exclusive clip (above) from the disc’s special features. In it, we see star Essie Davis (who really deserved a lot more adulation for her portrayal than she already received), fitted in a harness for when she’s been Babadook’d and bounding up the stairs, being directed by Kent, in the foreground right. It’s a good way to see how practical effects really positively impacted the smaller-budget production.
The disc also contains cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes, more making-of content, and Kent’s short film Monster which provided the basis for the feature film. The special edition also includes a pop-up-book box with a shadowy, arms-extended visage of Mr. B himself.