[watch] The Devil You Know: ‘THE BABADOOK’ and the Art of Fear

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For all the multiple characters, complicated plotlines and myriad sub-plots typical to most contemporary Hollywood releases these days – which also seem to get longer and longer each summer – there’s nothing quite like a taut, quick, simple horror film. Look at THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, or NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, or IT FOLLOWS: in each of those instances, the films clock in around 90 minutes, involve a handful of characters at most, and have pretty straightforward plots: evade a witch, evade zombies, evade the STD-monster-thing.

Jennifer Kent’s THE BABADOOK is another simple horror film: mother and son find themselves haunted by a terrifying creature who seems to have sprung from a book. But there is nothing simple about the kind of primal fear the film unleashes in a viewer, and in fact it is a complicated study of terror dressed up in a simple concept that allows for psychological exploration of a most-horrifying nature.

In the latest Renegade Cut video by Leon Thomas – which is a truly wonderful and educational film series that gets a very high recommendation from yours truly – THE BABADOOK is put under the knife of analysis and recovers more fascinating than ever. Naturally there are spoilers galore here, but if you’ve seen the film and enjoyed it – which you should have THE BABADOOK is awesome – you owe it to yourself to get eyes on this. If you haven’t seen THE BABADOOK, it’s streaming on Netflix right this very instant, so fix that then jump back here to further your appreciation.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist