Examples of Babadook
Where does Babadook come from?
Helmed by Jennifer Kent and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook was a surprise hit in 2014 for being a small-budget horror film. It follows a distraught widow and her imaginative child as they confront visions of a character in a pop-up book, Mister Babadook. In it, the Babadook is a nightmarish monster with a huge mouth, long talons, amorphous black body, and creepy top hat.
The Babadook wasn’t terrifying to everyone, though. In 2016, people on the social media site Tumblr began joking that The Babadook film and monster were gay, an idea that began in jest but that quickly went viral. One such post shows the film categorized in a section of LGBT movies on Netflix (although it was probably doctored), and social media users ate it up, engaging in mock discourse on the LGBTQ subtext of the film.
The Babadook character went on to make appearances in gay pride parades, notably in Los Angeles in June 2017. The LGBTQ community leaned in, identifying legitimate LGBTQ themes and issues in the film. Many likened the suppression of the Babadook’s existence in the film to the struggles historically faced by the LGBTQ community for acceptance and recognition.
Who uses Babadook?
After its release, critics and the public discussed the film as a powerful portrait of grief. Others lauded it as a horror film directed by a woman. A testament to its success, the film earned a 98% rating on the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and took in two times its budget back in revenue.
Hi darlings! it's the end of Spooky month! for this year i decided to be one of my favorites contemporary monsters and gay icon The Babadook! 🏳️🌈 #Halloween #Halloween2018 #31Oct Show me your costumes for this year! 👀🖤 pic.twitter.com/WIcLrQmkvq
— ☂️ Eri (@TinySpidy) October 31, 2018
In 2017, the queer embrace of the Babadook got the attention of major publications like The Guardian, Teen Vogue, and the LA Times. They explored how this horror movie character became an unlikely icon in the queer community, which was Baba-shook by the Babadook.
my favorite thing the internet ever did was turn the babdook into a gay icon
— milli (@superlamemilli) September 14, 2017
openly gay and with an affinity for hats and drama, the Babadook was the first time I saw myself represented in a film
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) April 19, 2017
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Babadook like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Babadook that will help our users expand their word mastery.