Yes, it's a simple concept. A supernatural creature is stalking a widow and her young son. Easy enough for most, but the trailer is a textbook example of how to make an enticing promotion for a horror movie.
FIrst, the trailer never revels the creature. Sure, we see a picture of it in a book, and a few shadowy glimpses, but never the entire being. The trailer never lets us see the creature (or the ending, as countless other trailers have). it gives just enough to whet our appetites and nothing more.
Second, the trailer plays up the idea that mom might be seeing things. Sure, other supernatural horror film plays with the idea that the person experiencing the event might be going insane, but I've yet to see it played out so well in a trailer. Perhaps this is more a testament to writer/director Jennifer Kent, for crafting a tale that blurs the line between insanity and reality. It doesn't matter, as the trailer really hammers that idea home, as the mother sees the Babadook when she reports a stalker to the local authorities, or hears the creature asking to give her the child. It leaves one guessing which direction the film will take and makes you want to buy a ticket and discover how the film plays out.
And, finally, I don't remember a creepier moment in a movie where a character was hiding under the covers. Perhaps it was because this time, an adult character was hiding rather than a child, making more of a connection with me. Or the display of director Kent's use of lighting and the slow burn approach of the trailer hooked me. It really doesn't matter, as I plan to be in line on opening weekend for this film.
The Babadook is set to open on Friday, November 28. It's too bad it's not opening in October, but it might be the jolt you need to kick you out of your Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.
Stay tuned to The Shadow Over Portland for Northwest screenings as I find them.