Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 26, 2012.

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THE BABADOOK is a psychological horror about a mother who becomes possessed by a monster that wills her to kill her 6-year-old son.

If it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of...

THE STORY: 

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6 year-old, Samuel, a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

Sneak peek from set:

Essie and Noah in The Babadook
Essie and Noah in The Babadook

THE FILM: 

THE BABADOOK is a psychological horror about a single mother (Essie Davis) who becomes possessed by a monster that wills her to kill her 6-year-old son. In the tradition of Polanski’s classic domestic horrors (Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, Repulsion), The Babadook has a distinctly bizarre and surreal edge. Using her award winning short horror film MONSTER as a springboard, writer/director Jennifer Kent developed the script at the prestigious BINGER LAB in Amsterdam with assistance from SCREEN New South Wales, SCREEN AUSTRALIA and producer JAN CHAPMAN (The Piano).

Watch Monster here:

VISUAL TREATMENT: 

Jennifer's inspiration comes from the early silent horror films which she believes are beautiful and arresting. The images of horror were elevated in most cases to a poetic level. This is our visual starting point with The Babadook; to take inspiration from the bold visual worlds of films like Nosferatu, Vampyr and M and find our own distinctive, original and modern take on them. These early silent films were strongly influenced by German Expressionism, which was about bringing the ‘inside out’ i.e. externalizing the emotions of a character and placing those emotions physically into their surroundings through lighting, camera and design. We feel excited to find our own modern interpretation of expressionism for The Babadook. 


WHY YOU SHOULD BACK THIS FILM: 

  • The goal of this campaign is to raise $30,000. This may seem like a lot of money but it is nothing in the world of filmmaking. While we’ve been lucky enough to raise the money to get the film made, we’re lacking that extra little bit to make sure we take the film to a place where it can compete on a world stage with all those amazing films we reference. Your money will go towards the art department and hard costs like building and dressing sets, as well as some of the Méliès-inspired effects, ensuring we can get the best looking film captured in camera. Every dollar you give will move us one step closer to making this all possible. 
  • There are not many Australian films in this genre so by backing the project you’re not only supporting something unique but helping to encourage and promote horror in Australia. 
  • Filming for The Babadook will commence in September of this year and is set for completion early 2013 when it will be submitted to major Film Festivals (Sundance, Cannes, Toronto International, to name a few).... so here’s your chance to be part of something huge and exciting! 
  • And, of course, you'll be contributing to a really awesome film that will entertain you and so many others. You can proudly wear a smile, or a scream, when you take your seat to watch the finished film.

REWARDS: 

Our rewards are listed on the right hand side of the screen with an idea of what they could look like below (not final). The artwork is being produced by the Emmy award-winning Alex Juhasz who illustrated the amazing title sequence for The United States of Tara which you can watch below. If you want to explore more, visit his website here: http://www.alexjuhasz.com 

We’re also happy for you to get creative and contact us with a request if you think we’re missing something significant! 

NB: Digital download package & DVD will be given to backers only when the film is released in their territory.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL? 

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. The way it works is that we have to meet our funding goal before the campaign expires – or we don’t get anything.  We can only realise the vision for The Babadook with your help so no matter what the amount, anything you contribute will help ensure we reach our goal. So, help by donating and spreading the word to others. Share this link,“Like” us on Facebook, Tweet it, email this Kickstarter link to your friends, family, supporters, co-workers, fellow fans and anyone else. 

Feel free to email us to ask us questions or get more information: thebabadook@gmail.com

WANT TO KNOW EVEN MORE ABOUT THE FILM?

INSPIRATION

From Writer/Director Jennifer Kent: I am fascinated by what happens to people when they suppress their responses to life, especially the painful ones. In my own experience, suppression may work momentarily, even for a number of years, but eventually the truth will come out.

I wanted to find a vehicle that would explore this terrain. I asked myself the question ‘what would happen to someone who was able to deny a terrible experience and then had to face it?’ This is how The Babadook sprang into being.

MYTH

‘I think horror and fantasy are arenas in which we can discuss anxieties, philosophical questions, and bring it almost to the level where abstraction becomes flesh. You know, you can, very much in the tradition of the Greeks, be able to manifest big ideas, big themes and make them reality.’- Guillermo Del Toro

The story of The Babadook is based on a mythology of grief and our inner darkness. This physical manifestation of the Babadook is a real, tangible way to look at what can happen when people have to face their shadow side. By shadow side I mean all the refused and unacceptable parts of our personality that we hope will just go away if we ignore them. But the whole point is that these shadow qualities won’t ever go away; on the contrary they will fester and become monstrous if we don’t acknowledge their presence. We have to face our own personal demons and integrate them into our consciousness if we really want to be of value in the world.

DREAM

‘Myths it could be said are public dreams. Dreams it could be said are private myths.’- Joseph Campbell

Cinema for me can offer up a space that is very close to dream. I feel dream logic is a very powerful and potentially frightening space, we lose the concrete, tangible edges we hang onto in waking life. This is very much what is happening to Amelia as the film unfolds. She’s experiencing something akin to a waking dream. My aim is for the audience to experience this dream (or nightmare) along with her.

DAVID LYNCH

One of my favourite filmmakers is David Lynch. He has a singular ability to create a world onscreen that so closely resembles dream logic. Not every moment can be explained in a completely literal way, and yet when it all adds up, there is a complete world created, usually accompanied by a strong feeling of uneasiness.

THE CAST

The lead role of the mother, Amelia, will be played by award winning actress Essie Davis, who most recently starred in a number of highly acclaimed Australian TV series including Cloudstreet and The Slap. Essie is currently playing Phryne Fisher, the lead character in the ABC drama Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Essie won an Olivier Award opposite Glenn Close for A Streetcar Named Desire in 2003, and played Vermeer's wife opposite Colin Firth in The Girl With A Pearl Earring. Her film credits include Baz Luhrmann's Australia, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. 

Read more about Essie HERE

Thank you for any support you're able to provide and if you can't donate financially help us by spreading the word!

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    Our never-ending love and gratitude! PLUS a hug and/or high-five if we’re ever lucky enough to be in the same room with you.

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    Pledge $150 and you’ll be rewarded with a limited edition print on archival paper of one of our fabulous Babadook concept illustrations AND the digital download package and thanks on our supporter page.

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    So you love your tech? How about a custom Babadook gel skin for iPad, iPhone or Kindle. Pretty great huh? PLUS you'll get the digital download package, which you can view on said device, and thanks on our supporter page.

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    Now we’re getting to the good stuff... PARTY! Two tickets* for you and a guest to attend the ‘Cast and Crew’ screening in Sydney or Adelaide, Australia along with everybody who’s anybody! Red carpet posing is (semi-) optional. We’ll also throw in the digital download package which includes the finished film. * Does not include travel and accommodation.

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    A 20-minute Skype chat with a key crew member to pick their brain... what’s their favourite colour? What’s their favourite film? You call the shots! On top of that, you'll naturally get a special thanks, a DVD copy of the film, the digital download package and choice of tote bag or t-shirt.

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    Receive a unique collectible from the film (props, costumes, etc) and a “KICKSTARTER ASSOCIATE PRODUCER” credit for your amazing support! You'll also receive the digital download package, a signed DVD, a t-shirt or tote, limited edition print AND all our love forever and ever.

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- (30 days)