The Babadook – a film about life’s real horrors

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Where does fear come from? Jen Izaakson, PhD student and revolutionary socialist, examines this question through a psychoanalytic review of new horror film, The Babadook.

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If we accept the psychoanalytic stance of a ‘continual return of the repressed’, ghosts and demons offer a way to battle unconscious psychic constellations of horror that would otherwise torment us with little recourse. It’s far easier to combat a physical monster than transform our own inner treacherous and debilitating states, to which we are truly vulnerable.

One of the ‘horror movies’ released in time for Halloween this year is Australian film, The Babadook. The content is about far greater fears than a boogeyman. Of course, The Babadook, is literally a creepy monster who comes to scare you at nighttime, but the film shows just what being afraid of ghosts or monsters is – projection, paranoia and attempt to externalise and combat our own feelings…

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