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    Amelia (Essie Davis) reads to her son Sam (Noah Wiseman) in the Australian horror film “The Babadook.”

    Dec 18, 2014 6:00 AM

    “The Babadook” is proof that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Based on this Australian horror film’s trailer — or even a synopsis of the plot, which involves a boogeyman who seems to have stepped out of a picture book — there isn’t much to distinguish it from other similar frightfests. Yet, as it turns out, the feature debut of writer-director Jennifer Kent is not just genuinely scary, but also a beautifully told tale of a mother and son, enriched with layers of contradiction and ambiguity.

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