With Disney and Steven Spielberg’s The BFG bombing at the box office earlier this month, it’s interesting to see another big “monster” film coming to theaters so soon. J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls is set for release in October and it looks pretty awesome.
The plot follows a young boy who enlists the help of a tree monster to cope with his mother’s illness. The tree monster was created by the two of them and the boy ends up bringing it to life, at least in his mind.
Where The BFG was obviously targeted at families, Focus Features, the distribution company behind A Monster Calls, tends to target the art house crowd. This new film definitely seems to fit that bill. From the trailer, it seems like a mixture of Big Fish and Finding Neverland. Both of those films dealt with some heavy issues of terminal illness and strained relationships. They also had beautiful set design and/or special effects. A Monster Calls definitely appears to be in a similar vein.
One criticism of the film is that the tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) looks like a mixture of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and the ents from The Lord of the Rings. While that’s certainly good company to hold, it feels as if the filmmakers could’ve went in a different direction. All in all though, A Monster Calls looks to be an emotional, yet powerful, upcoming film. It’s only Bayona’s third feature film after The Impossible and his underrated foreign horror film, The Orphanage.
In addition to MacDougall and Neeson, A Monster Calls also stars Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver. The film hits theaters on October 21st. Check out the trailer and comment below.