Fantasy movies have been difficult to sell lately. The recent box-office failure of Disney’s The BFG and Alice Through the Looking Glass have shown that audiences are getting tired of seeing lackluster CGI creatures alongside live actors in unconvincing elaborate settings. Moviegoers just aren’t being treated to stories that capture the imagination and inspire, especially when it comes to giants. There have been far too many films that have failed with this, but thankfully A Monster Calls is looking to change that.
This trailer looks amazing. A Monster Calls might be one of the most fantastic and imaginative movies we have seen in a long time. In no way does this film appear to be a quick cash grab banking off a well-established property, or an overproduced title looking to launch a franchise. This is a solid and genuine looking film that appears to be exactly what The BFG wanted to be. I can’t wait to see this in theaters just because of how stylish and awesome it all looks.
The effects in this film look incredible, and the set pieces have a real sense of weight to them that you just can’t achieve with an all green-screen environment. The film is rated PG-13 for scary scenes and dramatic sequences, and considering what we are previewing here I can definitely see quite a few little kids getting terrified when the monster destroys a church under a blood red sky. The intensity in this trailer is almost shocking, and the main story seems incredibly bleak and dark.
Lewis MacDougall plays Connor who is dealing with the trauma brought on by his mother’s terminal cancer. He is sent to live with his grandmother played by the always great Sigourney Weaver and soon finds himself being bullied and ostracized at school. When Connor needs support more than anything else, a giant tree monster appears from his drawings and becomes his ally and protector. The scenes in the trailer showing Felicity Jones succumbing to illness instantly tell us that this is not going to be an easily and lighthearted fantasy film for the whole family.
What gets me interested more than anything else is just how much this all reminds me of The Iron Giant. Liam Neeson sounds like he is doing the best voice acting of his life here and I can’t wait to see how he conveys such raw emotion through his performance. A Monster Calls looks like it will divide audiences and take heat for being too disturbing and unpleasant, but anything with some real grit to it would be better than Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. Despite its weaker peers, J.A. Bayona’s film based on Patrick Ness and Jim Kay’s novel looks to be stellar. A Monster Calls is coming and we should all be excited.