At some point in a boy’s life, he becomes… well, let’s say ‘interested’ in horror movies. ‘Obsessed’ might be a better word, but ‘interested’ will do.
The-Oldest has reached that point. He’s read It. He’s watched movies like Nightmare on Elm St and Exorcist, which, FYI, is still one of the best horror movies of all time.
So while the Prettiest-Girl-In-The-World took The-Youngest to his first baseball batting tryout, The-Oldest and I decided to watch a movie. I wanted to make sure I got quality time with him as well. I greatly fear that The-Youngest, being a little more sportsie and challenging, tends to take up nearly all my time.
So I hoped I’d be able to do something fun with The-Oldest.
Hence a movie.
A movie I’d not heard about.
How did we choose it?
Well, we did what we do. Both The-Oldest and I won’t use a Kleenex until we’ve researched which ones last the longest, which ones are the softest and which ones are the most environmentally friendly.
So we looked into the best horror movies of all time.
There are many lists out there. There are lists of lists. Seems everyone and their demonic dog has a thought on this subject. Most included movies like 6th Sense or Silence of the Lambs which are not, in and of themselves, actual horror movies.
We’d looked at the lists from Rotten Tomatoes. IMDb. Metacritic.
Sadly, we’d seen most of the movies on most of the lists.
Now, currently, The-Oldest’s favourite horror movie of all time is Child’s Play. He admits it isn’t the best movie ever made, nor even a particularly good movie, it’s just that he likes it. At his age, I thought Phantasm was the best movie ever made, so maybe at 13, our minds see things in a totally different way.
So I was a little leery when we found this Babadook movie. It’s Australian for one. It didn’t have any talking dolls or demons brought back from dreams or slashy serial killers. On top of that, it was written and directed by a woman.
And it had a silly name. Babadook? WTF???
It was, however, the winner of 49 awards!
Here’s the pitch… “A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.”
A scary house. A monster. A sinister presence.
Sounds ok, right? Sounds like something I’ve seen a hundred times before, right?
It was the most terrifying movie I’ve seen in awhile. Quite awhile.
It was the type of movie that stays with you for a long, long time.
The visuals were perfect. I mean, freaking perfect. The acting was so un-Hollywood that you thought you were watching a real family in crisis. The pacing was agonizingly tense. The music so creepy, I had to claw a blanket over me.
But the true genius was in the characters, their struggles and the ambiguous nature of the ‘evil’.
Without giving much away, the child wasn’t a lovable waif who said ‘I wove you momby’. No, he was deeply damaged by what happened in his past and was, to quote The-Oldest, “one tough kid to like.” He screamed a lot. Obsessed a lot. Needed his mom A LOT.
And his mom, well the best that can said about her is that she was having a complete mental breakdown. Who could blame her? A huge trauma in her life. No sleep. A spooky book that she couldn’t get rid of. And a crazy? son.
I don’t want to reveal everything, but jezzus was this a great movie. I could not guess for a moment where they were going from scene to scene and, even after watching it, I’m still not entirely sure what happened. I mean, what REALLY happened, especially with her being a writer and all (they’re messed up people.)
The-Oldest, however, loved it. Even though he’d never admit it, it scared the pants off him, and there’s nothing a teenager (who hasn’t discovered girls, yet) likes more than having his pants scared off. Nightmares will come. Some of those images are burned into his brain. And that music…
So, yeah, a total success.
I’m super glad I didn’t have to see it alone.
I think you and The-Oldest are both incredibly brave. The first time I saw a horror movie I was about 10. It was strictly not allowed at my house, but I slept over at a girlfriend’s, and her parent LET her watch horror movies. Woohoo! We watched the original Dracula (okay, this was a looong time ago). I couldn’t sleep without a nightlight for months. Even now, I shy away from horror movies because — I admit it — I don’t actually like being scared. I don’t think I’ve ever met a teenage-ish boy that doesn’t love them though. Are girls wired differently? Or is it just me?