Rent A Monster Calls (2016)

3.6 of 5 from 523 ratings
1h 44min
Rent A Monster Calls Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
A Monster Calls is a spectacular story of one boy's journey for hope and courage. With his mother (Felicity Jones) fighting a life-threatening illness and his strict grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) imposing new rules on his life, 12-year-old Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is faced with a future beyond his control. Confused, angry, and alone, he immerses himself in a fantastical world of his own creation where he meets an ancient and giant creature known as 'The Monster' (Liam Neeson) who helps Conor to confront his nightmares.
Actors:
, , , , , , Oliver Steer, , , , , Max Golds, , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Writers:
Patrick Ness
Studio:
E1 Entertainment
Genres:
Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
BBFC:
Release Date:
08/05/2017
Run Time:
104 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Deleted scenes
  • The Making of A Monster Calls
  • The Making of the Tales
  • Audio commentary with writer Patrick Ness
BBFC:
Release Date:
08/05/2017
Run Time:
108 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.40:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Deleted scenes
  • The Making of A Monster Calls
  • The Making of the Tales
  • Audio commentary with writer Patrick Ness

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Reviews (8) of A Monster Calls

A homage to a child's imagination when coping with grief - A Monster Calls review by PV

Spoiler Alert
02/06/2017

OK, so this film is a bit too long - esp in act 3 - and layers on the emotion with a psychobabbly trowel sometimes. However, it is also a genuinely moving film about how a 12 year old copes with a broken home and a sick mother - though it does milk it shamelessly!

No idea of the Young Adult novel does the same, though I note the book's illustrator got himself a share of the profits by claiming copyright ownership of the monster image.

The special effects and cinematography are superb - and I notice this is mostly filmed in Spain where other movies with great special effects have been made (the one about the Spanish Civil War Pan's Labyrinth, for example). The director is Spanish too. Outdoor scenes were filmed in the UK in Manchester.

The lead actor is superb and Sigourney Weaver has nailed a normal British accent (unlike most Americans who sound like Dick Van Dyke when they try one!).

I liked the animated sections BUT thought some of those stories within stories a bit weak so the plot was not a strong point here. The whole what and why or the monster is never really explained. The adults also seem weirdly tolerant of the boy who never gets punished for anything!

I also saw the end coming a mile off. This movie will appeal particularly to those who like Hollywood group-huggy family films. It's all very conveniently emotional and aims to manipulative the viewer into an emotional teary response too.

BUT a decent and unusual film, and with British accents for once. 4 stars.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

NOT BFG - A Monster Calls review by NC

Spoiler Alert
27/07/2017

Quite clever film showing how a child in difficult circumstances deals with his demons....by creating a monster to control them all.....

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

A MONSTER CALLS - A Monster Calls review by SM

Spoiler Alert
13/11/2017

I didn't think I was going to like this film. Very unusual though & good actors in it too. Cried my eyes out.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

A Monster Calls review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso

A Monster Calls has a misleading title (and while we’re at it, a dishonest trailer) that doesn’t do the movie any justice whatsoever. In fact, it derails and alienates its audience by marketing the film as something that is not, i.e. a holiday fun for the whole family! Well as it turns out, A Monster Calls is none of that: rather it’s a completely engrossing drama that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, toys with your feelings (in a positive and highly rewarding way), and walks you through a very dark initiation of both body and mind. Long story short, A Monster Calls is a quite the riveting film possibly not suitable for children under 10 years of age.

The film sees Lewis MacDougall in his second full-fledged feature (after the previous critically panned “Peter Pan”) as Conor – a young and talented 12-year-old boy living with his single mother referred throughout the feature as “mum” (played by Felicity Jones) in Northern England. Tragically enough, she has an aggressive form of cancer, but manages to stay positive despite her seemingly hopeless condition. In the meantime, Conor is equally plagued by her mum’s suffering after which he resorts to escapism (dreams, fantasy) in order to cope in light of the surrounding events. And if this wasn’t enough, Conor is also bullied at school as well due to his noticeably “different” demeanor.

A Monster Calls is an emotionally honest film, which works on so many different levels; its art design is extraordinary, featuring gorgeous-looking animations on par with other fantasy-driven fairytales such as Big Fish, the last two Harry Potters, The Fall, and more. The sound mixing is nothing short of brilliant, with filmmaker J.A. Bayona utilising complete pauses to increase the dramatic tension that’s presented all throughout the film (and one scene which I would not spoil in particular). The cinematography by industry veteran Oscar Faura is done with such precision as to leave the viewer with that nostalgic feeling of a chilly, wintery awe. The dream sequences are on par with everything said thus far, and only add to the bleak but hopeful atmosphere that A Monster Calls so dearly conveys. And to top it all, the visual effects (supervised by Pau Costa, notably famous for doing "The Revenant" bear) are mesmerizing and captivating all at the same time: the monster perfectly blends yet differs from the seemingly normal surroundings, and kudos to everyone involved for managing to accomplish a natural feel where other could have possibly stumbled.

Finally, A Monster Calls can be two things for the viewer: either an overly dramatic, and at moments – a highly traumatic experience that will grant you countless sleepless nights, or a cathartic masterpiece serving as an emotional valve unto which you’ll pour all of your emotions in one sitting. Either way, this film will not leave you indifferent in the slightest – a true testimony that emotions do really exist in this day and age after all.

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