The father is typically a symbol of power/authority in horror films, and at the beginning of The Babadook we learn that Amelia's husband is dead. This is not a terribly new idea, as a lot of horror films start out this way (the absent father as a symbol of patriarchy in crisis), but usually, the film will introduce some kind replacement (priest, boyfriend, lawman), or the father returns, and so forth, so that the symbolic order can be properly restored. As the Babadook intrudes into Amelia and Samuel's life (with the Bbd as an obvious metaphor for her grief after the passing of her husband), the Bbd and the father are coupled together as a symbol of patriarchal authority. Amelia must overcome this demon/husband, and she does so by directly defying him at the films' end. He screams at her, and she screams right back (to the point where glass shatters!), ordering him to leave her house. He flees to the basement, where he will always be kept (grief will always be there, just repressed, offering a progressive spin on Robin Wood's notion of the restoration of repression), and she can go there to visit whenever she needs to. This is key, because patriarchal authority will always be subordinate to Amelia/the mother. The Bbd/father/grief will always be under her control. Furthermore, the final images of the film are of her and Samuel embracing one another; a representation of Julia Kristeva's semiotic chora (the space of mother/child symbiosis), and a symbol that she has denied the restoration of patriarchy.