See the Spooky-Ass Short Film That Inspired Jennifer Kent’s Upcoming “The Babadook” – “Monster” (2005)

So,  as you may know, The Babadook, the debut feature from talented Aussie film-maker Jennifer Kent, is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming horror releases of the year. When it was screened at Sundance, audiences and critics alike knew they’d just seen something unique, special …and pretty goddamned frightening.

Monster, the short film that was basically the seed of The Babadook, won several awards –the full list is here— at short film festivals. We’ve heard that the tone and theme of Monster are very similar to the upcoming feature-length film, and though we haven’t seen Babadook, we have seen enough clips and trailers to be able to confirm that. It has a very spooky, gothic, fairy-tale tone (kind of in the same way the deeply frightening 2013 film Mama did, though we’re pretty sure–no offense, Mr. Babadook– Mama is the one that will forever haunt our nightmares), and to us, the visuals evoke early Tim Burton a little.

So if you’re as amped-up about Babadook as we are–it’s on our list of Ten Most Anticipated Horror Films for the last half of 2014*– turn out the lights, put on your headphones, and take a gander at Jennifer Ken’s “Monster” below. The only version on You Tube has Russian subtitles, but since there is very little dialogue, it shouldn’t distract you. If you MUST see it without subtitles, you can; here’s a link to the short film on Vimeo.

Monster was screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, including Telluride Film Festival, Montreal, Slamdance, SXSW, Aspen Shortsfest, Palm Springs, Karlovy Vary and Sydney Film Festival.  We have yet to see a bad review of it (or Babadook, for that matter). The short film was also included in the Kickstarter campaign;  of The Babadook’s modest budget, $30,071 was raised via Kickstarter. Most of the funds raised from Kickstarter were channelled toward the art department (source: IMDB).

Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 1.47.06 AM

While we’re at it, here’s the latest, full-length trailer for The Babadook. It’s clear they’re keeping the atmosphere –and the scares– from the short you just saw.

The movie will have its UK debut in the upcoming Film4 FrightFest in London, and this is the official description:

REPULSION meets ‘The Gruffalo’ in writer/director Jennifer Kent’s Sundance acclaimed début feature as the unresolved traumas of a conflicted mother and disturbed son manifest as a malevolent entity threatening to consume them both. Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son, Sam (Daniel Henshall), have had a raw deal in life. Her husband Oskar died six years prior while driving her to the hospital pregnant with Sam, and his birthday is a particularly painful reminder. But now things worsen dramatically. Samuel’s been having nightmares, and when a mysterious pop-up children’s book appears on his shelf titled ‘Mister Babadook’, he is finally able to put a name to the terror.
No official US release date yet, though we hear vague rumors of Fall 2014. IFC Midnight will be releasing it, last we heard.
Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 1.50.56 AM

*We split that article up into two parts; part 2 is still pending and Babadook will be on that upcoming half.

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3 thoughts on “See the Spooky-Ass Short Film That Inspired Jennifer Kent’s Upcoming “The Babadook” – “Monster” (2005)

  1. Reblogged this on HORROR BOOM and commented:

    Yep, we already ran this in July, but since the movie will be opening in selected theaters and on VOD Friday (that’s according to the website; it better not get bumped again), and now is a great time to watch, or re-watch, the frightening short and trailer. Click “View original” in the lower left to see the complete piece. Trust us, it’s worth the extra little click. We also put a ‘Countdown Calender’ in the footers at the bottom of the page, scroll down and you’ll see it in the second column. It cannot open soon enough for us!

  2. Monster is amazing! Just exactly my kind of horror.

    I’m a bit confused, though, by: “Click “View original” in the lower left to see the complete piece.” Maybe I’m in a light food coma, but I don’t know what you mean by that. The lower left what?

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