The Babadook Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

Who is The Babadook (2014): analysis of the plot and ending of the film. The meaning of the film The Babadook, explanation & the essence ending, similar movies.

Country: Australia, Canada

Genre: horror, drama

Year of production: 2014

Director: Jennifer Kent

Actors: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney

Slogan: “If it’s in a word. Or it’s in a look. You can’t get rid of… The Babadook” (If it’s in a nutshell. Or it’s in the look. It’s impossible to get rid of you… The Babadook).

At first glance, Jennifer Kent made a standard horror film about a scary “bedroom monster.” However, the further the plot progresses, the more clear it becomes that the answer to the question of who the Babadook is is much more complex and scary. The film “The Babadook” is an interesting, but very creepy story with a hidden meaning. First of all, she talks about inner demons, which at any moment are capable of getting out and causing a merry Sabbath.

Who is the Babadook

According to the popular interpretation, this is a supernatural creature, the embodiment of severe anxiety and depression. Outwardly, the Babadook looks like a lanky, very pale humanoid creature, dressed in a long dark tailcoat and bowler hat. The monster’s distinctive features are long, sharp fangs and clawed fingers.

The Babadook does not want anyone to know about him, and he begins to persecute those who reveal the secret of his existence…

single mother and her son of The Babadook 2014
Essie Davis as Amelia and Noah Weissman as Sam. Still from the film The Babadook

Plot of the film The Babadook

Brief description of the contents of the picture. The main character Amelia is raising her six-year-old son Sam on her own. The boy was born on the same day that Amelia’s husband died in an accident – the accident occurred when he was taking her to the maternity hospital.

The woman was never able to “let go” of her beloved husband – she is still tormented by nightmares about that fateful night. However, she is not the only one who has bad dreams – Sam also sleeps poorly and is very afraid of bedside monsters.

Amelia used to write children’s fairy tales. She now tells her son some of them, and not all of them are sweet and kind. After listening to enough stories, the impressionable Sam one day tells his mother that he will kill the monster with great pleasure if he decides to come to them. In general, the boy behaves like a real tomboy, but Amelia has no time for this: she works in a nursing home and what she does has a negative impact on her emotional state.

One day she is called to school. According to the administration, the situation is serious: Sam brought homemade weapons to class. In this regard, it was decided to assign a specialist to him who could correct the child’s behavior. However, Amelia protests: in the end, her son did nothing, and it is unlikely that he wanted and could cause serious harm to anyone – there is no need to make him an outcast. It soon becomes clear that her desire to protect him is just a screen to cover up something terrible: the woman partly blames the boy for her husband’s death…

Noah Weissman of The Babadook
Noah Weissman as Samuel’s son. Still from the film The Babadook

One day, Sam takes a book from the shelf called “Mr. Babadook”, which tells about a mysterious monster who plagues everyone who finds out about its existence, and asks his mother to read it to him. This was a bad idea: after this the boy gets so scared that he becomes hysterical. Having difficulty calming her son, Amelia hides the book as far as possible. But this does not help: soon devilry begins to happen in the house. The doors open by themselves and the eerie sounds of heavy footsteps are heard. Sam’s behavior becomes simply intolerable and everyone in the area argues that he needs to be shown to a specialist as soon as possible.

The boy not only misbehaves, but also constantly talks about the Babadook, thereby irritating his mother. But one day he goes completely overboard: at dinner, Amelia discovers shards of glass in her plate. Sam stands his ground – he has nothing to do with it, and the solution to the glass shards that ended up in his mother’s plate is simple: the Babadook is to blame for everything…

One day, Amelia hears a terrible crash and, running towards it, sees a fallen cabinet. Seriously frightened, the woman begins to look for her son and soon discovers him, numb with horror, under the bed. On the shelf she finds a book about the ill-fated Mr. Babadook and, assuming that Sam has finally gotten to it, tears it up and throws it away.

Soon Sam is invited to his sister Ruby’s birthday party. A conflict arises, as a result of which the girl receives several bruises, and Amelia’s sister Claire demands that she keep her son away from her family.

After such a “debriefing”, mother and son leave the holiday. On the way, Sam has a hysterical attack and Amelia takes him to the doctor. After examining the boy, he decides to sign him up for a visit to a child psychotherapist, but Amelia asks him to simply write out a prescription for a sedative. In her opinion, the medicine will help reduce emotional stress, and they will both at least sleep normally. The doctor agrees, but warns that the drug is serious and should be given to the child only if absolutely necessary.

Amelia gives Sam the medicine in the evening of the same day – and after that they both sleep peacefully. Not having time to rejoice, the woman, who came out in the morning in response to a knock on the door, is surprised and horrified to see the book “Mr. Babadook” lying on the porch. Someone completely restored the book and even added new pages to it. The following words appeared in the poetic text: “If you let me in, you will begin to change, the Babadook will begin to awaken in you”…

room in the house of The Babadook 2014
Still from the film The Babadook

Without thinking twice, the woman decides to burn the ominous book, and then tries to ask Claire for help, but she does not want to talk to her. A little later, the phone rings in the house and Amelia hears an eerie voice on the receiver. After this, she decides to go to the police, but this makes no sense, because she destroyed the main evidence – the book.

From this moment on, she begins to be haunted by eerie visions (for example, she sees the clothes of the Babadook at the police station and cockroaches crawling along the walls), which, of course, negatively affects her emotional state. Soon social workers come to their home. They become convinced that Amelia has serious problems with the perception of reality and promise to return soon.

That night, a monster appears. Having shown himself to Amelia, he possesses her. She keeps seeing him everywhere and it literally drives her crazy. In the morning she calls work and asks for a day off because she is not feeling well. The employer is dissatisfied and Amelia takes out her frustration on Sam, who comes up, bringing him to tears.

Repenting that she offended the child, she rushes to apologize to him, but the boy is already afraid of her. And for good reason, because she is becoming more and more aggressive and unpredictable. Towards the end, the Babadook completely takes over her consciousness, and she tries to kill her son. However, he quite successfully resists and even tries to reach his mother.

Amelia manages to take control of the Babadook, after which it leaves her body, but grabs Sam and drags him away. Appearing to her for a moment in the form of her dead husband, the monster then regains its former appearance. He needs Sam, and the mother is desperately protective of the child.

As a result, her determination seems to bear fruit: the monster disappears and Amelia and Sam seem to begin a normal, calm life.

The Babadook Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. Sam’s seventh birthday is approaching. Previously, Amelia, for obvious reasons, really did not like this day, but now, after everything she has experienced, she is seriously preparing for the holiday.

Social workers come again and this time they see in front of them not a half-crazed and unkempt woman, but a calm and balanced woman. After they leave, she collects a full bowl of worms and takes them to the basement where the Babadook sits…

The meaning of the ending of the film “The Babadook” will become clearer if we look at the heroine’s past. Amelia was once a children’s writer. In this regard, it can be assumed that she herself wrote a book about the Babadook – this is how her mind struggled with the stress associated with the death of her beloved husband. However, it turned out even worse: she released a demon into the world – not a demon under the bed, but her own, internal one, which took on such a frightening form.

The Babadook is a symbol of the deep depression that Amelia has been in all this time. She did not admit that the problem was primarily in her and for this reason the monster became stronger. But when she looked the Babadook in the eyes and stood up for the child, he retreated.

By the way, the Babadook can also represent personified guilt. After all, after defeating him, Sam stopped being afraid of him, but Amelia goes down to the basement and feeds him worms. The ending makes it clear that the monster hasn’t gone away. He is here, nearby and needs to be kept under control…

gloomy children's room of The Babadook
Still from the film The Babadook

The meaning of the film The Babadook

The simple truth is that our worst demons live within us. In the eighties, Stanley Kubrick spoke on this topic, and a quarter of a century later, Jennifer Kent, an Australian director, made a film with a very strange title – “The Babadook.” This film was destined to become one of the most frightening and disturbing works on a given topic.

At first glance, this is a banal story without much meaning. However, with each mise-en-scène it becomes clear that we are not dealing with a scare about a monster in the closet, but with a terrible drama, saturated with an everyday nightmare.

The film has an interesting “trick”: the build-up of suspense occurs through the use of imagination. It is sometimes quite difficult to understand what is happening with Amelia and her son: is someone watching her and engaged in a kind of gaslighting? Or is it all about her dark illusions?.. Jennifer Kent skillfully gives the viewer food for thought and, like any good storyteller, does not give answers to these and many other questions. We can only guess how the terrible book ended up in the house and who resuscitated it after its destruction.

However, these questions fade into the background when “The Babadook” gradually transforms into a variation of “The Shining.” However, here too the director deceives the viewer – she ends her story in a completely different way.

monsters under the bed of The Babadook 2014
Still from the film The Babadook

The main character is a single mother. Having lost her beloved husband in an accident when he was taking her to the maternity hospital, she herself was as good as dead. Unable to come to terms with her loss, she works with sick old people and leads a boring, gray life. She is severely depressed, but cannot (or does not want) to understand it. In addition, Amelia is raising a problematic, difficult child. However, his deviant behavior is the result not so much of hyperactivity or some other deviation as of his mother’s alienation, because she subconsciously blames Sam for the death of her husband.

One day the limit comes. Amelia’s inner demons find their way out and materialize in the Babadook. Wish someone dead? Express in person everything that you had to keep to yourself for so long? Mr. Babadook does not deny himself anything. Under his influence, a purulent abscess of hatred towards her own child is revealed, those feelings that Amelia could not admit to herself are exposed.

Having taken possession of the main character’s mind, the monster devours her from the inside. Sam still hopes to return his mother and drive away the evil Babadook, but this is impossible.

Looking your demons in the eye does not mean conquering them. However, you can still try to tame them and learn to live with them. This is probably the point of the film.

family happiness of The Babadook
Still from the film The Babadook 2014


Similar films

Here are several films similar to the film “The Babadook” in meaning and plot:

  • “Mama” (Canada, Spain, Mexico, 2013). Two girls are found in a forest hut who have somehow lived there for five years. But it is only at first glance that it seems that no one is looking after the children…
  • Hereditary (USA, 2018). Annie loses her mother. After this, all sorts of devilry begins to happen in a quiet and calm house.
  • “Somnia” (USA, 2014). Little Cody has an amazing gift – all his dreams come to life. Unfortunately, the boy often has nightmares…
  • “The Amityville Horror” (USA, 2005). George and Katie Lutz come to live in a house where a terrible tragedy occurred a year ago.
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