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The Babadook Prologue is a 2018 Australian Psychological-Supernatural Horror film written and directed by Jennifer Kent. It serves as a prequel to Kent's previous successful 2014 Horror feature The Babadook, that starred Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman.

It is set between 1887 and 1929, at the Kew Cottages a.k.a Kew Asylum which was closed and redeveloped in July 2008.

The film like it's predecessor was a critical success, and this time a commercial hit in box office revenue worldwide, releasing in Australia on December 9th, 2018 as well as Australian IMAX theatres, worldwide and in select IMAX theatres on December 30th, 2018.

It features a new ensemble cast including Elizabeth Debicki, Judy Davis, Ben Mendelsohn, Cody Fern, David Culpilil, Yasmin Honeychurch and Angourie Rice.

Plot

In 1887 the children's reformatory the Kew Cottages opens under the title "The Idiot Ward" overseen by Chaplain Tilley and his fiance Nurse Wanda. It welcomes in intellectually disabled children, but is used to secretly house and institutionalize Tilley's 19 year old son Jensen, who suffers from what is later discernible as Asperger's Syndrome.

The premises comprising of three central cottages and a large hall, has a hidden hall area converted into a library, with Wanda putting in an order for books. A drunken god-fearing Tilley makes an advance on a male orderly Thomas and is brushed aside, the event witnessed by Wanda. Tilley in a rage begins to tear apart the finalized library, stumbling upon a tome entitled 'The Babadook.'

Later Tilley seemingly possessed after a frightening encounter with the monster from the book is proceeds to murder Thomas in the main building cellar with a saw, mutilating him off-screen.

Wanda is then chased across the grounds and eventually lynched from a mill.

Finally with a mallet Tilley enters the room with son Jensen, strikes him and then then drops a vial of cyanide.

Authorities arrive by carriage and horse, covering up the deaths as the rest of the children to be checked in are set to arrive. The library seen by one officer, is initially seen destroyed, but as he turns back is suddenly restored.

In 1929 Adelaide mother Anna Mulkin escorts her daughter Nat to Kew Cottages, the renamed Idiot Ward in Melbourne, Victoria. Nat having become a burden with ADD.

Anna is set to work as a receptionist at the facility, she becomes acquainted with Head Nurse Bette, newly appointed Warden Guill and the orderly staff: comprising of Meadow Taylor, Nurses Ayla, Cassandra and Maya, and guards Churchill, Caulfield, Ralston and Lyle.

Nat attempts to run away and finds herself on the neighbouring property of aboriginal farmer Winston and his daughter Gilda. When Nurse Bette arrives with the authorities, Gilda is stripped from Winston and involuntarily admitted to Kew Cottages. Anna promises a devastated and enraged Winston to watch over her.

Anna going over old documents in the reception office, uncovers the hidden library, which she sneaks the two girls into that night. The three discover the Babadook book and read it together.

In the following sets of nights a child in the three cottages and main ward dies or vanishes: British import Tyler succumbs to Tuberculosis, Tyler Samdock hearing noises vanishes in the cellar, Michaela Pendton from Gilda's segregated cottage of reform bleeds out profusely, Toby Enning and Abby Walker organising with Gilda, Nat and Meadow's daughter Breanna plan escape, only to be accidentally poisoned with cyanide in the water supply.

Breanna the following morning seems to have also succumbed to tuberculosis. Meadow is devastated and commits suicide by hanging, coming off the mill lynched. The Babadook creature also begins to terrorise Anna, Nat, Gilda, the three guards and nurses Cassandra, Ayla and Maya.

Ayla flees Kew and on the road waiting for a carriage is stalked from behind by the Babadook, disappearing.

A flood bursts out at the Kew Asylum main building, and the guards die by drowning and later electrocution.

Apparitions of Chaplain Tilley, his son Jensen, Thomas and Nurse Wanda appear before Anna as Nurse Bette, revealed to be under the influence of the Babadook, which had been passing in and out of her body, murders Nurse Cassandra by a scalpel to the chest and then Nurse Maya by immolation with petrol.

Warden Guill returns to the property and is revealed to be in allegiance with Nurse Bette, but is betrayed and has his throat slit in the library as Anna, Gilda and Nat are forced into there. Winston arrives to reunite with his daughter and grapples with a gun armed Bette, resulting in Winston being injured by gunshot, and Bette dying by cracking her head upon a table. The Babadook descends upon the group from above, and is locked in a crawlspace in the library he is lured into.

The library is walled off by Anna and Winston in the following days before the authorities are left to discover the crimes at Kew, the four having already fled.

Years following back in Adelaide, Anna and Nat are revealed to be living in the Victorian styled home that would later house Amelia and Samuel Vanek in 2014. A package arriving at the house that Anna unwraps to discover the Babadook storybook. As Anna recoils in horror she hears Nat's screams from the basement and rushes down, the screen cutting to black.

Cast

  • Elizabeth Debicki as Anna Mulkin
  • Judy Davis as Nurse Bette
  • Ben Mendelsohn as Warden Guill
  • Angourie Rice as Nat Mulkin
  • Cody Fern as Jensen Tilley
  • David Culpilil as Winston Yinnar
  • Levi Miller as Bryan Tanning
  • Yasmin Honeychurch as Gilda Yinnar
  • Shane Jacobson as Ralston
  • John Noble as Lyle
  • Vince Colosimo as Meadow Taylor
  • Stephen Curry as Churchill
  • Josh Lawson as Caulfield
  • Claire Holt as Nurse Cassandra
  • Rebecca Breeds as Nurse Ayla
  • Ashleigh Cummins as Nurse Maya
  • Zen McGrath as Toby Enning
  • Alana Mansour as Breanna Taylor
  • Sam Winspear-Schillings as Tyler Samdock
  • Bella Rose as Abby Walker
  • Savannah Foran McDaniel as Michaela Pendton
  • Sebastian Witt as Gordon Ludd
  • Tim Purcell as The Babadook
  • Eliza Taylor as 1887 Nurse Wanda
  • Les Hill as 1887 Chaplain Tilley

Soundtrack

  1. Comrades - Felix McGlennon
  2. Oh My Darling Clementine - Percy Montrose
  3. Someone To Watch Over Me - Gertrude Lawrence
  4. Some Of These Days - Sophie Tucker feat. Ted Lewis
  5. The Man I Love - Marion Harris
  6. My Melancholy Baby - Gene Austin
  7. Ain't Misbehaving - Fats Waller
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