Originally scheduled to be a Halloween release, director J.A. Bayona's fantasy film A MONSTER CALLS is now set to reach theatres around Christmas - it moved from the season of the witch to awards season. Whether it's an Oscar contender or not, it most certainly does feature a giant talking tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson), so if we can't watch the full film for Halloween it is nice that a clip has arrived online in time for the holiday, showing what I assume to be the moment when that tree monster pulls itself out of the ground for the first time in the story.
There are some stunning visuals on display here, with great attention to detail as the tree uproots and forms human-like appendages, all while a little boy watches. The tree then proceeds to stomp across the countryside, walking up to the boy and saying one of the last things I would ever want to hear a fiery tree monster say.
Written by Patrick Ness and based on his 2011 children's book, which was inspired by an idea from the late Siobhan Dowd, A MONSTER CALLS centers on
12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), who is dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates. He finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth.
A MONSTER CALLS will be opening in select theatres on December 23rd, followed by a wide release on January 6th. While we wait, check out Chris Bumbray's 9/10 review.