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A Monster Calls: Haunting tale set to be monster hit

By Damon Smith

Reclusive schoolboy Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is in denial about the dark shadow hanging over his mother, Lizzie (Felicity Jones). He silently soaks up physical abuse at school from bullying classmate Harry (James Melville), and seeks refuge each night in his vivid illustrations.

As darkness falls and midnight strikes, the yew tree which stands guard over the nearby church magically comes to life and morphs into a gnarled creature (voiced by Liam Neeson). The behemoth visits Conor and promises to share three parables, but Conor must share his nightmares in return. Each night, the creature spins his yarn and the boy listens intently, searching for meaning in the words. He only finds bitterness and confusion. Meanwhile, Conor struggles to articulate his churning maelstrom of fears to his well-to-do grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and estranged father (Toby Kebbell).

Four stars

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