The Babadook isn't for the mainstream crowd. If you're looking for jump scares and scary monsters you wont find any here. The Babadook is a movie that taps into the basal emotion of fear. It portrays the truly terrifying things in life - grief, loneliness, and despair. Not things that freak you out but things that make you unsettled, disturbed, and human.
The acting is fantastic, the story itself is unique and told brilliantly through its subtle writing and directing, it's very well paced, I could go on and on. What I love about this movie especially is the suspense. There is always tension present throughout the movie, like there's an underlying unease to every shot. The way Jennifer Kent crafts these shots is bleak and macabre but not to the point where it's depressing. You're always on the edge of your seat. And I can't give enough credit to Essie Davis. Her performance is Academy Award worthy material, seriously. The son is great as well. At first he may seem obnoxious, and to an extent he is, but he acts exactly how a kid would act in that situation. You believe him. You believe everything these characters are doing, and that's what makes this movie work so well.
The Babadook really is one of the best horror movies I've seen in a long time and I've seen a lot. Is it scarier than The Conjuring or Sinister? I wouldn't say that, but that depends entirely on your definition of scary. This movie explores the more disturbing and realistic side of the genre, I'd say it's more haunting than said movies for sure. It's psychological horror at its finest. It actually gets under your skin, and when a movie can do that, it has done its job.