Movie Review: A Monster Calls (2017)

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his mother's terminal illness. In the coming-of-age genre, it stands out well. With Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster, we are invited on a fantasy journey that makes for great entertainment for the whole family.

"Conor O'Mally" (Lewis MacDougall) is going to live with his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) because his mother (Felicity Jones) isn't doing well with the treatments she is receiving. And the doctors prognosis is not very good. Conor's dad (Toby Kebbell) is in America and can't see uprooting him and bringing him to the U.S. This causes more conflict in the vulnerable and impressionable mind of an 11-year-old boy.

With A Monster Calls, following the story is everything. And there isn't a lot of emotional manipulation that goes into it. The movie is based on the novel by Patrick Ness who also gave us the screenplay. It may be too scary for very young viewers, but the rest will fall right in line with everything.

Director J.A. Bayona has a fairly short filmmaking resume, but does a phenomenal job of bringing us the story of a boy, picked on in school and feeling isolated and misunderstood at home, who must face a greater enemy lurking within him. It may not completely redefine the genre, but it will warm hearts and create some introspection. And that we can all benefit from!