- Movie Reviews
- App Reviews
- Top Tips
- Take Action
Not recommended under 13, parental guidance to 15 (intense themes, disturbing scenes)
This topic contains:
|Children under 13||Not recommended due to intense themes and disturbing scenes|
|Children 13 to 15||Parental guidance recommended due to themes|
|Children over the age of 15||OK for this age group|
This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.
|Name of movie:||A monster calls|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild themes and violence, some scenes may scare children|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
The film opens with twelve-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) fast asleep in bed. The young boy is having an apparently recurring nightmare in which he tries in vain to save his mother from falling.
We learn that Conor lives with his terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones) while his overbearing grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) visits regularly. His sad life continues at school, where he is regularly bullied.
Things change one night when a large tree near the house transforms into a monster (voice of Liam Neeson) which comes to visit Conor. The monster tells Conor that he will return to tell him three stories, after which the boy must tell the monster a fourth story about the truth that he is hiding - the truth behind his nightmares. As the film unfolds the monster tells three stories which touch upon Conor’s problems. The film’s climax is reached when Conor tells his own story, enabling him to finally confront his own fears and failings.
Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.
Terminal illness; death of a parent; grief; bullying
Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.
Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.
The film contains a variety of violent scenes, some in animated footage but others involving the main characters. Examples include:
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged under five, including the following:
Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.
In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:
Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes, particularly the bullying of Conor and the death of his mother.
Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.
Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes
References in cartoon footage to lovers sleeping together under a tree
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:.
There is some coarse language in this movie, including:
A monster calls is a fantasy drama targeting teens and adults. It is an intensely emotional story of loss and grief, featuring an angry and confused 12 year-old boy whose mother has a terminal illness. Due to the film’s intense themes and disturbing scenes it is not recommended for children under 13 and some slightly older children may need parental guidance.
The main messages from this movie are:
Parents may wish to discuss why Conor felt guilty and found it so difficult to discuss his feeling about his dying mother, and why he felt it necessary to be punished for his feelings.
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.
Content is age appropriate for children this age
Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended
Content is not age appropriate for children this age
Children and Media Australia (CMA) is a registered business name of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM).
CMA provides reviews, research and advocacy to help children thrive in a digital world.
ACCM is national, not-for-profit and reliant on community support. You can help.
ABN: 16 005 214 531