Isolated from her siblings and friendless at her Long Island school, 12-year-old Barbara (Wolfe) spends her free time setting traps and protecting her coastal town from the giants she believes are going attack. She reveals her quest to an English girl, Sophia (Sydney Wade), while the new school counsellor (Saldana) suspects there is more to Barbara’s fears than mythical monsters.
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, this bears many similarities to A Monster Calls, and kids and adults familiar with that movie and book will figure out the secrets of Barbara’s life early on. However, knowing what motivates her to devise potions and traps for giants – whom are creepily realised in some impressive CGI scenes – does not detract from the power of her story or Wolfe’s stunning central performance as the wounded, scared and angry outcast trying to make sense of it all.
It may not be completely original (though it should be noted that the source material on which the movie is based came out before the novel A Monster Calls) but it is certainly dark, quirky and fascinating.
The movie is aimed at older children – younger viewers (under age 10) may be scared by the giants.
Viewers may be upset to discover why Barbara is fighting giants.
The movie is quite dark and sad so may be too much for younger viewers.
There is a scene in which a child is beaten by bullies, and one of the bullying girls is particularly nasty.
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