The Babadook – Case Study

The scene from The Babadook which I have chosen to do my case study on is called the first encounter scene.  The scene begins on a shot of a tree outside the window in the evening light, and we hear the mother reading to the son from a storybook.  It then cuts to the two of them as the book is finished and the son is asleep.  The light then starts to flicker next to the bed as the mother closes the book.  There is then some passing of time as we see different shots of the house and it cuts to the mother in bed unable to sleep, rolling around.  She then hears scratching at the door followed by silence, and then a  dog barking showing that the scratching was the dog trying to enter the room, so she gets up and lets it in.  She then gets back into bed and almost immediately the exact same scratching noise is heard at the door, which then opens by itself.  We then see something enter and the ‘Babadook sound’ is introduced, which sounds like a swarm of bugs.  The mother then hides under the covers and we hear a scurrying and the Babadook begins to talk to her.  We then hear no sound so she uncovers her face and looks at the ceiling.  The Babadook scurries into sight and we hear a ‘Ching’ noise almost like someone unsheathing a dagger.  The Babadook noise then gets louder and we see it jump into the womans mouth to possess her with an increasing volume as this happens.  A youtube clip of the video will be linked for reference.

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The tree outside the house in the moonlight.  We hear the mother reading a book in hushed tones to her son.
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The child falls asleep as the mother reads him a story.  As we cut into the room the mother stops reading and we can hear the son breathing heavily to show he is asleep.  The mother then closes the book preparing for bed.
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The lamp by the side of the bed begins flickering hard which is the only light in the room.  The sound is very loud and exaggerated more than it would be in real life, to highlight that this is something out of the ordinary.  We hear a static electricity noise as well as a scratchy sound when this happens.  After this we see a few shots of around the house which are all silent, of the mother looking in the mirror, the bedroom window, the stairway and the bedroom door from the outside.
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The mother and son are both in bed but she cannot sleep.  We hear wind from outside of her window, and she is rustling about in bed creating noise.  She then looks at the ceiling and we see a shot which is called back to later in the scene of the ornate light fixture on the roof.
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The mother hears a scratching at the door of the bedroom.  The scratching is long and deep in sound, it could almost be mistaken for a large animal growling due to its tone.  She sits upright in fear and silence until we hear the dog bark, and she breathes a sigh of relief.
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The mother gets up to let the dog into the room.  The floorboards are creaky and the door is very squeaky as she opens it.  The dog has lots of claws so we hear them running across the floor as the woman closes the door again.  She then seems a lot more relaxed as she gets back into bed.
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This is soon over ridden by the fact that we hear the exact same scratches at the door.  This time though we are aware that the dog is in the room and that no one else is in the house so we do not know who it is.  The door opens itself the second time we hear scratching at the door, and we see something enter the room.  As we see the Babadook enter the room, the sound which we associate with it is introduced, the sound is almost like a swarm of bugs such as cockroaches and when we hear it it makes your skin crawl.  We hear a groaning noise also coming from the corner of the room.
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The mother hides under the covers to hide from what has entered the room.  We then hear the sound of scurrying onto the roof with a swoosh noise to indicate a jump from the Babadook.  We then hear it say its name “Baba-badook-dookdook” in its low and groaning voice, it sounds almost as if it is inhaling when it talks.  The voice gets louder as it is saying its name and makes you feel more and more uneasy as it sounds angrier too.  Once we hear it say its name, all sounds stop completely and we hear just the mother breathing heavily.  She then uncovers her face from the sheets to look at the ceiling.
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The mother looks up at the ceiling and we see the Babadook scurry into sight.  This is the same position in which we see her looking at the roof as before, but this time we see the Babadook run into sight.  We hear the bug like cricket sounds to represent the Babadook get reintroduced as we see this.  There are so many layers of sound here, there is also a high ringing noise as we see the Babadook much like in many horror films.  There is also a very obvious scuttling sound as it the Babadook also has claws on its hands and feet when it is crawling around very fast.  We then hear the sound of the Babadook unsheathing a weapon and see it appear to be a shiny chrome then we hear it.
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The sound that represents the Babadook of the swarm of bugs increases in volume as he faces the mother and we see the weapon we heard was claws from his hands.  The Babadook jumps from the roof into the mothers mouth, making a high pitched gutteral scream as he falls which also increases in volume, as the bug sound also is.
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As the Babadook is falling we see the woman sitting face up with her mouth open and it is clear that the Babadook has jumped into her.  The mother becomes possessed by the Babadook and all of the layers of disturbing sounds that we were hearing disappear, and instead we now hear her breathing very heavily at what has just happened.

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