FilmScene Iowa City, IA


Catie Councell

Theater MFA, University of Iowa 2018


Laurie McCormick

Board-certified psychiatrist & family physician

The Babadook— What happens in our brains when we are scared?

After a performance of a terrifying tale, psychiatrist Laurie McCormick explains the science of fear.

FilmScene Iowa City, IA

Film Synopsis

A mysterious and unsettling children's book forces a grieving widow to confront her resentment of her imaginative young son—and the possibility that his terrifying nightmares might be real.

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her 'out of control' six-year-old, Samuel, a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel's dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called The Babadook turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he's been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son's behaviour, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

Photo courtesy of PHOTOFEST