Sometimes when you’re a kid, in times of struggle, turmoil, and strife, your friends and/or family can’t really help. Even teachers or authority figures can’t do much. Sometimes the only thing able to assist in your time of need is a huge, gnarly tree creature with the booming voice of Liam Neeson. Right? We’ve all been there. Or at least we WILL all be there after the new fantasy/drama A Monster Calls comes out.
The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name written by Patrick Ness—who also wrote the screenplay—from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. You may know Ness’ name for creating the new “British Buffy” series Class which takes place in the Doctor Who universe. The director for the film is J.A. Bayona, the Spanish filmmaker who created a stir with his 2007 crossover horror hit The Orphanage and earned major plaudits for directing the 2012 film The Impossible.
A Monster Calls follows a young boy (played by Lewis MacDougall) whose mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer and the only way he can deal with it is with the help of a massive old tree monster who tells him stories. But, he’s also a monster, so he’s probably super scary at times, too.
The trailer feels a bit like a mix of Where the Wild Things Are and Pan’s Labyrinth, both films about children running into the fantasy world to deal with their real-life weighty problems. A Monster Calls seems like it might be a very realistic depiction of how parental illness affects children as well as being a creepy-ass movie about giants and things. Good mixture of Bayona’s talent to bring together harrowing reality with strange otherworldly elements.
Would you like the Neesons to be the tree monster of your dreams? What was the name of your childhood imaginary friend? Let us know in the comments below!
HT: Comic Book Resources
Image: Focus Features
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!