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The Babadook Explained: This Year’s Horror Hit, Boogeyman Nights!

Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut, The Babadook, is a 2014 Australian psychological horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent, with Kristina Clayton and Kristian Moliere producing.

Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, and Ben Winspear appear in the film. It’s based on Kent’s 2005 short film Monster, about a single mother who has to tackle her son’s dread of a monster in their house.

On January 17, 2014, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, garnering attention and critical acclaim in the United States and Europe, grossing $10 million against a budget of $2 million. The Babadook was initially a commercial failure in Australia, therefore it was only released at art house theatres on May 22, 2014.


  • Amelia Vanek is played by Essie Davis.
  • Samuel Vanek is played by Noah Wiseman.
  • Claire is played by Hayley McElhinney.
  • Robbie is played by Daniel Henshall.
  • Gracie Roach is played by Barbara West.
  • Oskar Vanek is played by Ben Winspear.
  • Prue Flannery is played by Cathy Adamek.
  • Warren Newton is played by Craig Behenna.
  • Ruby is played by Chloe Hurn.
  • Beverly is played by Jacquy Phillips.
  • Norma is played by Bridget Walters.
  • Sergeant Adam Morgan
  • Kid No. 2 is played by Charlie Holtz.
  • The Babadook is played by Tim Purcell.
  • Bugsy as Hachi

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What Happens at The Movie’s End

the babadook explained

Given that the end of the second act of The Babadook is as wild and insane as great cinema gets, we’ll just start after the young Sam (Noah Wiseman) has knocked out his mother, Amelia (Essie Davis), and tied her to the cellar floor.

She wakes up while visibly under the influence of Mister Babadook and assaults her child, attempting to suffocate and murder him. Sam reaches out with his hand and begins to brush his mother’s cheek in an attempt to stop her, knowing how much she loves him.

Amelia lets go of her grip on her son’s throat, has a good cry, rolls over, and vomits a long stream of black liquid. Amelia appears to be gone for a brief period before being startled awake by Sam. As they return upstairs, the environment returns to normal, and it appears that the mother and son are now free to resume their lives, the horrible beast that had been haunting them has vanished.

Unfortunately, Sam reminds Amelia of one of the most iconic phrases from the pop-up book at this point: “You can’t get rid of the Babadook!” Sam is dragged into his mother’s room after falling backward and being quickly carried up the stairs by an invisible force.

Amelia catches up with Sam and witnesses him being viciously slammed against the wall several times, prompting her to grab him and carry him to the bed. She cries into the darkness of her room, where Mister Babadook frequently appears, and she inquires as to what the haunting figure desires.

Amelia’s dead husband, Oskar (Benjamin Winspear), emerges from the shadows, repeating the words he said moments before the car accident that killed him — and she watches as his skull is severed in half.

The excruciating presence is what ultimately pushes the mourning mother over the limit, and she begins to howl: “This is my residence! You’ve broken into my house! I’ll fucking kill you if you touch my son again!”

For a brief moment, it appears that the home is about to collapse apart, but the pandemonium subsides, and Mister Babadook’s seemingly empty suit and top hat fall to the floor. As Amelia gets closer and reaches out, it rises to full height, screams in Amelia’s face, and rushes down to the basement, where Amelia locks it up.

Sam is celebrating his birthday at home when the next scene begins… with the presence of the two social services personnel checking in. Both Amelia and Sam appear to be lot happier than they were before, and Sam is ecstatic to be celebrating his birthday with a party.

While this is first perplexing, Amelia clarifies the issue by stating that her husband died on the day Sam was born and that her son bears a striking resemblance to the deceased Oskar.

Amelia goes into the backyard after the social workers have left and begin digging up worms and put them in a bowl with Sam’s help. They then proceed to the basement door, where Sam inquires if he will be able to see it, to which his mother responds that he will when he is older. Going downstairs, she throws the worm bowl on the ground, fearful of Mister Babadook charging at her and blowing her back.

However, after some comforting words from Amelia, the monster gradually retreats, taking the worms with him. The pleased mother returns upstairs after successfully feeding the beast to have sandwiches with her son and watch him do an astounding magic show. As the credits begin to roll, she finally smiles and hugs Sam.

But what does all of this mean? Mister Babadook, who are you? Continue to the next page to learn more!

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