Amelia (Essie Davis) is exhausted because as a widowed single mum she never gets a minutes rest thanks to her son Samuel's (Noah Wiseman) night terrors which keeps him awake and in turn forces her to stay up. To make matters worse Samuel's fear of monsters has led to him building weapons and taking them to school. After another trying day Samuel asks Amelia to read him a book called "The Babadook" and shortly after Amelia also begins to encounter strange goings on in the house which she is convinced is connected to the book but no matter how hard she tries to destroy the book it always seems to return repaired with the strange events getting more and more powerful.
I was never scared by monsters in cupboards as a child and squeaky floorboards late at night never bothered me either. I say this to explain why "The Babadook" didn't work for me where for some this is an exciting, tense horror. The trouble is that if you can't connect with the storyline of a child terrified of monsters and a mother on the verge of a breakdown due to his behaviour this becomes a long slog. Not only that as a child who would have had the back of their legs tanned for screaming and acting like a brat you have to question why Amelia wasn't stricter with her son anyway.
I will be honest, I am kind of at a loss for what to say about "The Babadook" as the whole movie revolves around the misbehaving Samuel, the exhausted Amelia and then all the strange goings on after she reads the book. But it simply struggles to draw you in to the supposed horror of what is going on and more often than not causes you a headache with Samuel screaming and misbehaving.
What this all boils down to is that other than causing a headache "The Babadook" didn't do anything for me and certainly didn't give me the creepy, unsettling, horrifying experience that some have had whilst watching this. Maybe those who get the most out of this suffered with scary monsters as children as maybe they can connect with the story more or maybe it is single parents who know how exhausting it is to deal with a troublesome child.