When I first heard that A Monster Calls was being turned into a movie, I was ecstatic! I read the book for the first time in July of 2016 and absolutely loved it.
Before watching the movie, I gave the book a reread and adored it just as much as I did the first time around. If you missed my review for the book, feel free to check it out here.
NOTE: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
So if you haven’t watched the movie or read the book, please proceed with caution.
Let’s dive in!
Discussion of the Film Adaptation of A Monster Calls
Right away, I have to say that this is by far the best book to movie adaptation I have ever seen. I adore the book, and seeing in portrayed in film was even more wonderful! I could not say which one I liked better because I loved them both immensely! Five stars to each; they are perfect!
The casting was absolutely spot on and the actors all did such an incredible job. I got chills so many times throughout the film.
I loved that the storyline stayed so true to the novel. In fact, a ton of the dialogue was straight from the book. The entire thing was so similar that you could have almost read long! And the musical soundtrack was so lovely.
I loved the opening credits! The style of the watercolored artwork was so lovely! Later on, when the stories began I was so thrilled to see that the stories from the monster were also watercolor and that they matched the opening credits! And oh my gosh…the watercolor journal from Lizzy at the end!! So perfect!
The style of the watercolor was very intriguing to me. I could happily watch a full movie in that style.
The CGI looked good! I love the added touch of the fire moving through the earth and then through the tree as he fully formed the first time. I also really liked that Conor flinched when the monster first started forming and hid when it approached the house rather than just staring it down. His reaction for what happened next then seemed much better fitting than in the book.
The transitions between scenes throughout the movie were very well done! How one image faded into another toward the end during the home video sequence was especially lovely.
One of my favorite scenes was the situation in the lunchroom. When the camera panned to show the clock behind Conor, I got major chills!
You see Conors nightmare right away. In the book, you didn’t know what his nightmare was really about until the end. I liked that it was added to the beginning of the film because it really set the tone.
The teacher that we first see in the classroom is a male in the film while in the book she was a woman. Not a major issue, but just seemed odd. She was also completely missing from the scene with the Headmistress.
The mum has hair in the movie when we first see her, though it is very short. In the book she was bald from the start. From the movie perspective, I think this really helped to make things appear like they were on the mend in the beginning, like there was still a lot of hope before things began to take a turn.
There was no Lily in the film. I actually liked this, as it kept the film more focused on Conor and his personal struggles.
The dad helped Conor start to clean up the wreckage of his grandmothers living room. I liked this addition because it let the viewers learn more about their families past. Later, we still got to see Conor clean up the rest on his own like in the book.
At his grandmothers house, he doesn’t have “his room” until the end of the film. I loved this change from the book. Such a lovely end to an incredible movie!
A must watch for all! What an incredible film.
Thanks for reading!
Have you both read the book and seen this film? If so, what did you think?