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The Babadook

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Horror movies very often forget what they want to be about. Too many of them are made for a quick opening-weekend cash-in. They borrow the same scares from each other, such as the ghost that suddenly charges at the camera, or the ghost that suddenly opens its mouth at the camera, or the ghost that stands with its back to the camera and then suddenly turns around. Now, here is a movie, The Babadook, that is scary and dramatic, and seems rooted in something deceptively ordinary, and yet profound and heartbreaking. It begins with a single mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), and her six year-old son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), both seemingly unable to get into a normal groove after the death of Samuel's father on the day of his birth. Samuel is difficult, prone to tantrums and destructive behavior, and he pushes Amelia to the limit, especially at night, when she barely gets any sleep. More...

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If you're thinking of seeing Inherent Vice, why not check out Paul Thomas Anderson's earlier 1970s-set movie Boogie Nights?

Boogie Nights (1997)

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