Cinema Review: A Monster Calls | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, December 5th, 2020  

A Monster Calls

Studio: Focus Features
Directed by J.A. Bayona

Jan 10, 2017 Issue # 59 - 15th Anniversary
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Young Conor’s mother is dying. Bullied at school, haunted by nightmares, and watching his mom grow weaker before his eyes, the boy withdraws deeper into the protective world of his drawings. After the strike of midnight, a monster calls at his bedroom window—an imposing creature with tree-like limbs which stands taller than the boy’s own home. He’s not there, though, to take the boy on an adventure or to punish his bullies—but to tell him a trio of fables that will teach him important lessons about life and human nature.

A Monster Calls is a difficult movie to categorize, looking something like The Iron Giant by way of The NeverEnding Story, but in the end resembling neither. It’s a worthy descendant, however, of such fantasy stories which treat their audience of children with the respect of adults. The monster is voiced by Liam Neeson, and the tales he tells are animated in two gorgeous, stylish passages. It’s the world outside these stories, though, which is most affecting; it’s hard not to feel for the young boy as he endures one of life’s hardest moments at far too young an age. A true tear jerker, but A Monster Calls is worth enduring such a heartbreaking story.

Author rating: 7.5/10

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