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Essie Davis
Review: 'The Babadook'
Review: 'The Babadook'

Here's one of the strongest feature film debuts in a long time, in any genre. Currently on demand and making its way into a few brave theaters, "The Babadook" comes from Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent, whose short film "Monster," made nearly a decade ago, inspired her full-length treatment of the same story. That story deals in familiar tropes having to do with a troubled young boy, his widowed mother and a not-so-imaginary creature, sprung from a malevolent pop-up storybook. But Kent has taste, an eye and a knack for brisk, accelerated pacing. In the case of "The Babadook," familiarity breeds an eerily gratifying contentment. A first-rate...

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