The audiences at the New Zealand International Film Festival may have their heart strings tugged a little more here as surprise crowd favorite A Monster Calls pays a visit. Directed by J. A. Bayona with a screenplay adapted from his own novel by by Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls is a dark, sentimental tale of young Conor and his terminally ill mother. The boy, deeply troubled, is called upon by a huge tree-slash-monster who has his own stories to tell.
A Monster Calls is likely not going to be what you think it is, with its themes going over a child’s head, but plenty of make-believe and childhood strife to keep young ones watching. A fine cast plays their part, with Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones proving their high worth, youngster Lewis MacDougall carries the film’s heavy reigns on his small back, while Liam Neeson lending his gruff voice to the monster is a perfect match..