A Monster Call is the story of a young boy named Conor, played by Lewis MacDougal, who is coming to terms with his mother’s terminal illness. Conor is a very sad, lonely kid who gets bullied at school but has a wild imagination, which prompts one evening at exactly 12:07 for a monster to come calling. The monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) takes the form of a giant yew tree. The Monster tells Conor that he will return four times, and on each visit, he will tell Conor a story. However, on the fourth visit Conor must tell him a story of his own. Conor’s mom Lizzie (Felicity Jones), is undergoing some type of cancer treatment which is not yielding optimistic results. Sigourney Weaver plays Conor’s strict grandmother, who is trying to prep Conor for a potential life without his mother.
Based on a young adult novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, who also wrote the screenplay — Directed beautifully by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, 2007-The Impossible, 2012), A Monster Calls its an emotional viewing experience that will remind audiences of Pan’s Labyrinth. It has a gothic tone and feel, plus the combination of standard CGI with the animated side stories worked well, which was a nice contrast to the live-action sequences. The climatic graveyard scene was spectacular.
In many ways, this film hit home for me, as someone who is still dealing with the grieving process of losing a parent.
Its all about letting go—about grief, pain, forgiveness, and imagination; those are the central themes of this movie. Films that deal with heavy emotional content have difficulty achieving the high marks A Monster Calls manages to achieve. This film will touch you.
Four out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿🍿