The Halloween season is here and in the run up to the big day I decided to
examine what is considered “scary” in the world of horror movies.

Going with Rotten Tomatoes list of the 31 scariest movies, I decided to
compare each film with another horror film from the same year to determine which one I found scarier.

We get contemporary with the latest films in the showdown as another pair of recent horror entries duke it out to see which was scarier. Is it the Australian supernatural horror film The Babadook? Or is it another entry into The Conjuring universe, Annabelle?

The Babadook

A troubled widow (Essie Davis) discovers that her son is telling the truth about a monster that entered their home through the pages of a children’s book.

Writer/Director Jennifer Kent owns the rights to the film and has promised that a sequel will never be made because; “it’s not that kind of film.”

Pros

Brilliantly shot. There is some great camera movement throughout the film including the scenes where Amelia gets in and out of bed.

The Babadook is incredibly scary both in motivation and execution. Its slow, deliberate haunting of this family makes its presence both anticipatory and scary.

The reveal of the Babadook is intense, creepy and perfectly executed.

The end of the film is suspenseful and charmingly unexpected.

Cons

Samuel was so annoying as a character I wanted to give him to the Babadook myself.

The Babadook’s powers are ill defined.

Annabelle

John Form (Ward Horton) thinks he’s found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia (Annabelle Wallis) : a vintage doll in a beautiful white dress. However, the couple’s delight doesn’t last long: One terrible night, devil worshippers invade their home and launch a violent attack against the couple. When the cultists try to summon a demon, they smear a bloody rune on the nursery wall and drip blood on Mia’s doll, thereby turning the former object of beauty into a conduit for ultimate evil.

The lead characters “Mia” and “John” are references to the lead actors in Rosemary’s Baby, Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes.

Pros

Great Rosemary’s Baby vibes from both the cult aspects of the original attack to the disturbing imagery at the apartment complex.

The apartment storage room sequence is brilliantly shot and darkly disturbing.

Some great jump scares.

Great performances. Annabelle Wallis is awesome and believable.

Cons

The plot was derivative. I knew what was coming and nothing was a surprise.

Annabelle lost its menace early on and just became a thing in the background most of the time.

The ending never really came together beyond setting itself up for a sequel.

With the long history of horror in the movies, it is hard to find original ideas, but the winner of this showdown, originality was the determining factor. I have to give it to Rotten Tomatoes on this one and agree that the winner is…..

The Babadook

What did you think of the films in today’ showdown? Let me know which one you found scarier in the comments below.

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