Netflix is adding a great forgotten Liam Neeson movie today. This isn’t one of his action flicks, though, but one of the more unusual and imaginative entries in his filmography. Yes, 2016’s A Monster Calls goes up on the streamer today. It may have passed you by at the time, as it unfortunately underperformed at the box office, so here’s your chance to right that wrong and catch it on Netflix next weekend.
A co-production between Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, A Monster Calls is a dark fantasy tale that’s based on the bestselling novel from Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking). Lewis MacDougall stars as Connor, a boy whose mother (Felicity Jones, Rogue One) is terminally ill and who is visited by a giant tree monster (voiced by Neeson) every night. The creature tells him different folk tales each time, which help him deal with the real world.
Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four) also features as Connor’s absent father, with Sigourney Weaver co-starring as Connor’s strict grandmother. The film was directed by J.A. Bayona, who was coming off his Oscar-nominated The Impossible at the time and who has since helmed blockbuster Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Fun fact: Marvel’s Tom Holland, a frequent collaborator of Bayona’s, was the stand-in for Neeson’s monster on set.
Though it hardly made back its $43 million budget at the box office, A Monster Calls received critical acclaim, sporting an 86% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score and an 81% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. The Critical Consensus says the film “deftly balances dark themes and fantastical elements to deliver an engrossing and uncommonly moving entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.”
It’s fitting that A Monster Calls is arriving on Netflix now as Chaos Walking, starring Daisy Ridley and our old friend Tom Holland, is finally due to release this March.