Jennifer Kent’s brilliant and terrifying “The Babadook” has been wowing audiences since Sundance. On November 28, U.S. audiences will finally get a look, via limited theatrical release or VOD, at the creepy, masterful first feature, which stars Essie Davis as a woman whose grief over her husband’s death takes the form of a jagged-edged stop-motion monster who invades her house through a malevolent children’s book. Park City audiences got a chance to peruse the real book, a handmade volume illustrated by Alex Juhasz, whose German Expressionist nightmares heavily influenced the look of the film itself. And now comes news, after months of hints, that “Mister Babadook” will be available for brave souls to own.
The book will become a reality only if 2,000 people pay the hefty $80 price — $60 plus $20 to ship anywhere in the world — asked at the film’s website. But once you’ve seen “The Babadook,” you’ll understand why those of us who love the film, even the ones living on a film critic’s income, are sorely tempted. Since the book doesn’t yet exist, the pictures on the site are from Juhasz’s original — which, if it’s ever for sale, will go for a lot more than eighty bucks — but Kent and Juhasz are promising something special:
“Each book will have a beautiful red fabric hardback cover. And each pop-up image will be printed on beautiful quality paper, hand glued and made to the highest standards. Just like the book in the film. And what’s more, not only will you be getting the pages from the book in the film, our writer/director Jennifer Kent and illustrator Alex Juhasz are adding some more pages, continuing the Mister Babadook story ever so slightly. This publication will be a stand-alone story, a companion piece to the film, a true original.”