Babadook and its memorable monster served as a powerful debut feature for Australian director Jennifer Kent. Dripping with allegory and deeper meaning, Babadook‘s meaning touches on some darker aspects of motherhood, loss, grief and how mental illness can create monsters all by itself. One of the most original monsters in decades, the Babadook creature’s design was praised by fans of the genre. However, Babadook the film ends on a confusing but pivotal note for its titular terror and the family he torments. The story sees single mother Amelia struggle with depression, as her son Smuel becomes obsessed with the terrifying movie monster Mister Babadook, who he fears is real and will come after him.

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Eventually, the strange events that continue to happen at home find Amelia harboring increasing amounts of anger towards her son, whom she seems to blame for his father’s death for no reason. Their tenuous relationship, despite her displaying the ferocity of a protective mother, seems to feed the beast that has taken up residence in their home. The film plays out very much like a traditional supernatural ghost film (the Babadook book feels straight out of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s collection). Mother and son must work together to overcome an evil being in their midst and find some reasons for personal growth along the way. However, Babadook film ending has sparked a lot of discussion from fans and critics alike as it takes a sharp turn away from genre films of a similar nature. The main areas of discussion concern what is Mister Babadook, and Babadooktrue meaning. Here is Babadook meaning explained

Related: How The Babadook Became a Surprising Gay Pride Icon


The Babadook represents depression

If it’s in a word or in a look, you can’t get rid of The Babadook.” This haunting line from the story Sam finds explains the monster’s deeper meaning – depression. Since Amelia’s husband died in a car accident while transporting her to the hospital during childbirth, she has been unable to reconcile many of her feelings about her grief and anger at being unexpectedly thrust into single motherhood.Horror commonly explores themes of mental illness and trauma (such as in M. Night Shyamalan’s Share) and connects one’s personal, inner demons with physical to cinematic scares. Movies like Black swan and Jacob’s Increase were brilliant at depicting a slow descent into madness or conditions like PTSD, and Babadook film stands among them as a gateway to how well horror can be used as a backdrop for deeper psychological issues.

The ending of the Babadook, explained

Since Babadook meaning is to anthropomorphize and represent Amelia’s unchallenged grief and depression, what does that say about the meaning of Babadookends? After her final confrontation with the Babadook, Amelia locks him in the basement. As the story goes, you can’t get rid of Mister Babadook, so instead she and Sam are forced to allow him to take up residence in their home. She brings him earthworms to eat and attends to his basic needs while repairing her relationship with her son. Like Stephen King adaptation Shining Vale, The Babadook the ending is a commentary on how people struggling with mental illness – especially depression – often have to live with their inner demons and struggle by trying to keep them at bay instead of extinguishing them once and for all. This is deeper Babadook which means that overcoming one’s demons often means finding ways to endure them rather than exorcise them.

Why The Babadook’s Ending Is Perfect And Never Needs A Sequel

Babadook was released in 2014. Almost a decade later, there is still no sequel, despite calls for one from some fans. However, Jennifer Kent, the Australian filmmaker behind the film, was right not to make a follow-up. Babadook is one of those rare films that got the ending just right with almost no legitimate criticism. There was closure, it felt satisfying, and it avoided unnecessary cliffhanger banter (rare for any film, but especially in a twist-heavy genre like horror, which recent films like The miserable proven). There are no plans for one The Babadook 2, and most audiences and critics maintain that it should remain so. The understanding that developed between monster and victim at the end was poignant, but a sequel would mean that the peace Amelia made with the Babadook didn’t last. As the whole movie is a metaphor for depression and learning to accept and live with the demons that swirl around Babadook into a horror franchise would irreparably cheapen the film’s ending and central meaning.

What director Jennifer Kent expressed with The Babadook

Babadook

ultimately, Babadook the meaning is that issues like depression and grief should be dealt with through acceptance rather than by trying to completely banish negative thoughts or feelings, a message that is oddly similar to that of Pixar. Inside out. In an interview (via The Guardian), Babadook director Jennifer Kent describes the purpose of the film as tackling difficult themes: “I wanted to talk about the need to face the darkness within ourselves and in our lives. That was the core idea for me, to take a woman who had really been running from a terrible situation for many years and had to face it. The horror is really just a byproduct.” Kent drew on his experience working with Danish arthouse director Lars von Trier to create a domestic atmosphere full of dread that reflects Amelia’s depression.

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In the story of Babadook, Amelia’s depression stems from the death of her husband, but it also resonates with experiences of postpartum depression and other types of mental health problems. Similarly, Sam’s fascination with the monster reflects the difficult experience of facing death and adult problems for the first time as a child, similar to That‘s Pennywise the Clown. All of Amelia and Sam’s efforts to suppress the Babadook seem to only strengthen it, demonstrating how grief and other negative emotions must be valued rather than completely suppressed if one is to truly move forward.

Other viewers have found Babadook‘s themes of trying to suppress hidden darkness relevant to their experience or identity. Some autistic viewers and family members have empathized with the central characters’ attempts to maintain normality by burying elements of the self that they fear, a connection strengthened by Sam displaying autistic traits such as his obsessive thoughts and social difficulties. The Babadook has also been embraced as a semi-ironic LGBTQ icon, with the story’s theme of embracing uncomfortable feelings resonating with queer audiences. Although these interpretations may not have been Jennifer Kent’s original intention, they suggest the richness of the central metaphor of Babadookends.

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