Whether critics loved or hated it, all agreed that A Monster Calls is a tear-jerker with some pretty fantastical elements. Some even likened it to Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, and now you can see why in this new clip from Focus Features that sees the summoning of Liam Neeson’s gargantuan tree creature.
Directed by J.A. Bayona, A Monster Calls is the story of Connor (Lewis MacDougall), a 12-year-old boy who’s struggling with the thought of his dying mother (Felicity Jones), his cold grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), his distant father (Toby Kebbell), and the bullies at school. In his hour of need, he inadvertently summons a beast that looks to be part Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy and part Wrath of the Titans. Voiced by Neeson, the beast emerges and weaves various tales for the child to help him cope with the situation.
In the clip, we see the titular monster break free from his resting place, stomp over to the boy’s window, and proclaim, “I have come to get you, Connor.” Watch it below:
Don’t be fooled by the awe-inspiring visuals. You will most likely need a tissue to make it through this movie. A Monster Calls continues this storytelling trend of children embracing a fantastical world as a means of escapism from some kind of trauma. We saw it recently with Pete’s Dragon and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Gifted Children, but it goes back much further. Even Pan’s Labyrinth — perhaps now you can see why the comparisons were made — did the same thing with the young Ofelia.
A Monster Calls screened for press at various film festivals ahead of its limited release on December 23rd, followed by a wide release on January 6th. Bayona will next set out to helm the sequel to Jurassic World, which has been described as a metaphor for animal cruelty.