Primarily The Babadook is fun.
It’s a pleasantly stylish remix of horror tropes and scary staples. Imagine a grateful curling of the filmmaker’s hat in the direction of all classic scary films that have gone before.
...highly inventive and interestingly understated and that's its charm.
There are so many horror movies that it gleeful winks at with all its… bumps, scrapes, scratches, strange noises, creepy crawlies, doors that open themselves, books that can’t die, rhymes you shouldn’t say, children as monsters, characters trying to stay awake and a bit of mild gore… within an allegorical tale of a young family and the hole a dead husband leaves in his wake and yet you don’t mind. As remixes go it’s highly inventive and interestingly understated and that’s its charm. It takes time setting up its characters so you care.
Babadook isn’t scary. Will you have nightmares? Highly unlikely. Will it make you revisit all the movies that it inspired it? Without question. The Babadook is a film to remind you how great and cathartic horror movies can be without necessarily making a new wheel.