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Analysis Of The Babadook

Decent Essays
Technical Elements Sound Design The sound design in The Babadook offers insight into Amelia’s unraveling mind. The film opens with a close-up of Amelia’s face, establishing the dominance of her perspective. The first scene is a flashback of the car crash. The first few seconds are silent, and the focus is on Amelia’s temporally distorted face. The deafening silence is pierced by a shrill note, followed by distorted screams and an urgent “Mom!” coming as if from another dimension. The screams echo in the mind long after they’re gone. Kent never reveals the visual aftermath of the car crash, but the screams are distorted to sound like crushing metal. The temporal mismatch between the visual and the aural elements of the opening exaggerate Amelia’s detachment from reality that is consistent throughout the film until the final confrontation between Amelia and the Babadook. Ominous music and the relentless buzzing sound trace the development of Amelia’s psychosis. Before Mister Babadook appears and even before Sam discovers the pop-up book, Amelia’s strained façade of calmness is penetrated by her sister’s birthday talk. For Amelia, the mere mention of Sam’s birthday – the actual date or the celebration day – brings up memories of her husband’s passing. This is the trigger that sets her off. This scene also marks the appearance of the foreboding score that acts as the acoustic mirror to Amelia’s emotional and psychological states (Hayward 247). Given that the score is used to
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