Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook became an unlikely horror hit thanks to strong reviews, incredible acting (particularly from Essie Davis), and an intriguing hook (is the titular monster real, or a manifestation of a mother’s grief?).
But even more improbable is the Babadook becoming a gay icon.
Naturally, it all comes back to Tumblr, where users allegedly noticed that The Babadook was miscategorized as an LGBT movie on Netflix. Now, there’s no subtextual evidence that the dapper monster is a queer character, or that the film is a metaphor for what it’s like to be gay, but a meme’s a meme and this one really took off. According to Teen Vogue, “While the Babadook had a moment earlier in February, the devilish entity has become the center of the internet’s attention once again thanks to June being Pride Month.”
The “Babadook as gay icon along the lines of Cher and Judy Garland” meme is obviously super tongue-in-cheek, although not to the same level as the internet’s ironic obsession with Bee Movie. That’s because The Babadook is a great movie, and Bee Movie is a terrible movie. See how that works? Besides, if it’s in a word, or it’s in a look, you can’t get rid of the Babadook (memes).