The Babadook / Gorilla Glue #4 (GG4)

For the two people out there (okay, realistically zero people) that are thinking to themselves, "I thought the next review wasn't supposed to be posted until July," you're right. But I had this one all written up and couldn't wait another two weeks. Hashtag impatient. Pretty sure no one will mind/care/realize that I'm posting early.

Anyways, enough about that. As you may or may not know, I’m a self-proclaimed "indica" guy. I’m not looking for strains that will motivate me to clean my home or release social anxiety around people. In fact, I almost exclusively smoke in the evenings to help treat chronic pain and insomnia. That being the case, I rarely ever venture into sativa territory. So, even after all the positive praise I heard time and time again about Gorilla Glue #4, I resisted. But eventually the legendary couch-lock effect it was known was intriguing enough that I had to experience it for myself to find out what all the hype was about.

I saw that my local dispo had some GG4 on their menu so I made a quick run and picked up a gram. Now all I needed to do was decide which movie I was going to pair with this strain. That evening I settled on The Babadook – one of my favorite horror movies, which surprisingly before that night I had never watched high.

Gorilla Glue #4 is a sativa that’s crossed between Chem’s Sister and Chocolate Diesel. Adding to its legendary status, it was awarded top honors at the Michigan and Los Angeles 2014 Cannabis Cup and the High Times Jamaican World Cup. I now know why people clamber to get their hands on this one. It is knock-you-on-your-ass ecstasy. This strain is potent and definitely not for the uninitiated. The smell is unique and gives hints of earthiness with an overwhelming punch of ammonia and gasoline. Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of the smell. The good news is that the taste leaned more toward a more pleasing earthy pine.

The smoke was a bit harsh on my lungs and triggered a pretty nasty coughing fit. But the effects came on really quick. The moment I exhaled the first rip my head immediately started feeling heavy. After burning through the rest of the bowl I quickly made my way upstairs to where I had The Babadook preloaded and ready to go in the bedroom. As I was ascending the stairs, they started to stretch forcing me to take bigger, longer steps just to reach the top. My environment was growing around me. Or was a shrinking? None of that mattered once I slid underneath my bedsheets and sunk into the mattress. I pressed play and succumbed deeper into GG4’s effects.

At first blush, The Babadook may appear like a straightforward creature feature, but don’t be fooled. This film is an expertly crafted psychological thriller about love lost, crippling depression, and dealing with a troubled child as a single parent. This is a heavy movie, with extremely heavy and honest real-life themes. It’s beautifully shot, expertly acted and doesn’t rely on cheap jump scares, over-the-top gore, or other played out horror movie tropes to artificially create fear. Instead, writer and director Jennifer Kent focuses her attention on atmosphere and story to create a palpable feeling of dread throughout. The Babadook isn’t an easy movie to watch. At times it can be downright difficult. And I mean that with all respect. It’s a testament to how great the screenplay and acting performances are. If I had a nickel each time I had the urge to reach into the screen, grab the mother and son by their shoulders, and shake them while yelling' "Pull yourself together! You’re losing it!"

I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than The Babadook. It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.

The movie stars Essie Davis as Amelia, a recently widowed single mother at the end of her rope trying to raise her problem child Samuel (Noah Wiseman). The Babadook is a low-budget indie movie with only a handful of actors and a smaller handful of set locations. This could’ve resulted in disaster if left in less capable hands. But Essie and Noah brilliantly carry this movie and, with the addition of Kent at the helm, elevate this simple story to one of the best horror movies of all time. But don’t take my word for it. The Exorcist director William Friedkin was quoted, "I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than The Babadook. It will scare the hell out of you as it did me."

After the opening sequence, the movie almost immediately dives in introducing the audience to the mysterious creature – albeit initially in book form. One night before bed, Samuel asks his mom to read him a bedtime story to help him sleep. He walks to this bookshelf and grabs a creepy pop-up book titled Mister Babadook. Neither Sam nor Amelia remember ever seeing the book before, but they both climb into his bed and she begins reading the book. The book starts innocently enough with a quirky top-hat, trench coat wearing creature and fun children book rhymes like, "If you’re a clever one and know what it is to see, then you can make friends with a special one. A friend of you and me". But after a few pages the rhymes become sinister.

It’s about this time during the movie when the initial head high began to shift into a new gear. Waves of warmth began to wash across my entire body and the trademark "couch-lock" took hold. I felt completely relaxed. It didn’t put me to sleep, but the dreamlike state it induced made my body and mind so self-possessed that I started to believe I was asleep. No, really. I was convinced I was legit sleeping even though my eyes were open and I was watching a movie.

Once the book is introduced and the Babadook is implanted in Amelia and Samuel's minds, things quickly unfold out of control. Samuel’s fits of rage become more frequent and Amelia’s sanity completely shatters. Kent presents a world where during the course of the movie it’s unclear if the Babadook is an actual creature that has been released, or one of their own creation. Is the Babadook a manifestation of their mental illness and depression? The movie is full of symbolism and is fascinating to analyse days after you’ve watched it. This is a movie that sticks with you and can easily spark up a thoughtful discussion with others who’ve also seen it.

Not only can I recommend watching this movie high, but I also suggest watching it sober. Watch it alone. Watch it with friends. Whatever you do, just watch it. If you’re a fan of horror, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t.

Thanks for checking out Bloody High. Please leave a comment below if you've watched The Babadook or have tried Gorilla Glue #4. I'd love to hear your experience. And don't forget to follow Bloody High on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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