Despite its title, A Monster Calls is not a monster movie, though monsters lurk within. It’s more like a darker, sadder Inside Out: Both are stories about children whose emotions are too overwhelming for them to process, and both take those emotions seriously. Neither gives glib answers.
A Monster Calls explores a common but devastating emotion: the grief — and attendant rage and fear — that comes with losing a parent. The movie starts off looking like a conventional children’s fantasy story, but it morphs slowly into something surprising, and all its own.