2 comments on “The Babadook: an advertisement for contraception

  1. PS: I recently saw another low budget, first feature length antipodean horror film by a writer-director, one that mirrors ‘The Bababook’ very closely. Gerard Johnstone’s ‘Housebound’ deserves the hype that ‘The Babadook’ is getting. It even focuses on a dysfunctional parent-child relationship and an unwelcome visitor, but unlike ‘The Babadook’ actually succeeds almost 100% in being scary when it should be scary, and is enjoyable throughout. The protagonist is charmingly obnoxious in a way that leaves her real room to grow and change. How unlike the child in ‘The Babadook’ who only succeeds in perversely and immorally making you almost sympathise with anybody who might want to wring the revolting little shitbag’s neck.

    Possibly it helps that ‘Housebound’ doesn’t rule out mocking itself or the genre. It’s genuinely (and deliberately) funny, the gear changes between tension and laughs are smooth, and Johnstone earns both comedy and sympathy from his well-observed depiction of how trying it can be when grown adults return to their childhood households, and the converse need for parents to acknowledge their offspring as independent people with their own lives.

    Some fantastic visual gags/digs at by-the-book horror films, too. Look out for the best “Jesus!” and the best subversion of the creaky horror film closet door you’re likely to witness any time soon.

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