Netflix has become a reliable destination for movies that may not have slipped from public consciousness since their premieres. We’ve seen a lot of solid older content be added to the platform in recent weeks, as the pandemic continues to keep us mostly stuck at home. One upcoming title that’s worth checking out is the Liam Neeson-starring A Monster Calls, which will be available on the US version of the service on January 16th. Why, then, is this J.A. Bayona picture worth checking out?
Released in 2016, A Monster Calls is based on Patrick Ness’s novel, and sees Conor (Lewis MacDougall) deal with the terminal illness of his mother (Felicity Jones) by entering into a fantasy where he befriends a giant yew tree voiced by Neeson. The tree explains that he’ll tell Conor three stories, and will receive one in return, setting up a touching story about learning to accept loss. Some excellent special effects help bring Neeson’s character to life in a fable similar to Pan’s Labyrinth and Bridge to Terabithia.
Although the film received critical praise on its debut, it suffered from delays by distributor Focus Features, and underperformed at the box office. It’s worth point out, though, that A Monster Calls did eventually just about make back its budget with a small profit, mostly through success internationally compared to the domestic market. We were certainly fans of it when it first came out, and I personally remember liking it at the cinema.
Bayona went on to direct Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and is involved in the new The Lord of the Rings series for Amazon. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for other Liam Neeson performances, the actor’s turn in Unknown has been doing well on Netflix this week, while Honest Thief is also new to streaming. What do you think about A Monster Calls, though? Let us know your take on the release in the comments section down below.