"The Babadook" is a smart, darkly drawn modern-day horror movie of monsters, memories and mothers.
For it is a mother's love on the line that heightens the provocation in this thriller set off when a children's book about the dreaded Babadook comes to life — dook, dook, dook — three bumps in the night at a time.
Written and directed by Jennifer Kent in this impressive debut, life is nightmare enough for Amelia (Essie Davis) and her young son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), without monsters in the house. At the beginning, we see Amelia lost in a bad dream — a rainy night, a car crash, a death.
That is unnerving enough. What Amelia wakes up to is the...