A Monster Calls (2016) Review


Conor is struggling to deal with his life, his Mum has an illness, he’s bullied at school, doesn’t understand his Grandma and his Dad is an absent figure.


I don’t really know where to start talking about this film, but I feel that I should warn you that it is extremely emotional. I really was not mentally and emotionally prepared for where it takes you, a lot of tears where shed I kid you not. The worst thing about it though when you just about compose yourself something else happens to start you off again. But with all that it just helps show how powerful the story and therefore film really is.

We all come up with different ways to cope with possible loss and horrible events happening within our lives. Conor’s way is by a big tree monster appearing to help him get through a well rather angry and upsetting moment. The way in which this is all done is visually stunning it must be said, the deal is that he will be told three stories and the fourth has to be his nightmare. Each story contains a lesson to help in with the situation he is currently in, I am not going to spoil what any of these are but it certainly fits together so well. I loved the use of animation/drawings for the first two stories. Thought it really showed how you can paint a picture of something and then work through it.

Different parts of the film with break your heart in many different ways over and over again. We quickly care about Conor and don’t want to see anything or anyone hurt him, which I guess was important and such a key aspect of it all the viewer having to care about him. Which we easily do, parts will also make us rather angry though the bullying scenes were really tough to watch, along with when his Dad returns. You can feel yourself getting annoyed and angry just watching.

Pleased to have eventually seen this film after having a ticket for the London Film Festival and not being able to make it. I really would recommend that you see it as it really does get you thinking and pushes some boundaries.

Performance wise I thought Lewis MacDougall was outstanding in the leading role, he really does have to go through many different emotions and feelings. Something that was brilliant to see from such a young actor. Felicity Jones as his Mum was rather heartbreaking (in a good way) as we slowly see her illness take over. Sigourney Weaver impressed in a smaller role as well, as the Grandma who was trying to focus on her daughter and understand her grandson at the same time. I just have to mention Liam Neeson as well considering he was the voice of the Monster, just brilliant!

The film has the power to make you think about life and loss, how you have managed to deal with that but also just how you could actually help someone else out with it as well. It also touches your heart as well as breaking it into many different pieces. I will doubt anyone being human if they make it through without shedding no tears at all. I really was unprepared for that heading into seeing the film, so want to make sure no one else makes the same mistake! Don’t forget your tissues!

16 thoughts on “A Monster Calls (2016) Review

  1. Highly emotional film particularly in the second half. Excellent acting especially Lewis MacDougall and Felicity Jones. I think the film works best in the scenes with Conor and his mum. Special effects are really good and the music I found to be very effective. Also, nice to see Geraldine Chaplin (Head Teacher) on screen again. Overall, a very impressive film; not sure who it is specifically aimed at, adults or children. Although everybody should take something from it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point about who it is possibly aimed at, that’s never quite clear. But I am guessing teenagers and older? As I don’t think younger children would really understand what was going on with it all. I really was not expecting it to be so sad though, tears all over!


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