Liam Neeson already has one of the more recognizable voices in all of Hollywood and sounds like one of the toughest guys the world has ever seen, or at least heard. However, in the new teaser for A Monster Calls, he sounds even scarier than usually. This is not the sort of monster we would be comfortable calling. Check out the trailer below.
While the teaser is short, it gives us a very definitive tone. And though it has fantastic elements, it may also be quite depressing. A Monster Calls is the story of a boy named Connor who escapes into a fantasy world because the real one, in which he is bullied and his mother is sick, is not a place where he finds much joy. He’s been having nightmares about one monster, but it’s a different creature that finds him, although it doesn’t look like Liam Neeson’s monster is a particularly pleasant beast either. He may not be there to hurt Conor, but it’s hard to believe he’s there to help either. The movie promises to be something quite extraordinary, and with the director of The Orphanage, Juan Antonio Bayona, and one of the producer’s of Pan’s Labyrinth on board, it looks to be visually stunning to say the least.

A Monster Calls is based on the children’s book by author Patrick Ness and is a deeply emotional story dealing with heavy concepts like grief and loss. While the movie looks to have heavy fantasy elements, there’s a lot more going on under the surface. The imagery reminds me a lot of Where the Wild Things Are, which may have appeared to be a light hearted retelling of a children’s book, but was much more emotional than that. You may want to stock up on tissues before hitting the theater for this one.

This film rests squarely on the shoulders of the young Lewis Macdougall, and this is only his second film role, following his part as Nibs in the recent disappointment Pan. Certainly nobody is going to lay that bomb at his feet, but the young unknown will have some serious heavy lifting to do in this one. Movies as emotionally draining as this story wants to be are as taxing for the actors as they are for the audience. Let’s hope he’s up to the task. Liam Neeson may have the most memorable role, but not the most important.

The film also co-stars Felicity Jones as Conor’s mother and Sigourney Weaver as his grandmother. A Monster Calls is set for release in October of 2016.

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