A Monster Calls : A question for those who have seen it.

A question for those who have seen it.

No spoilers, please and thank you.

I've not read the book and I'm Agnostic. I was curious if any other non-theists had seen this...

I was just wondering if there is any underlying theological message put forth by this. Being who I am, I don't want to waste my time on this if it does.

I'm not getting that vibe from the trailer, but you never know.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Are you also agnostic about Santa and the Tooth Fairy??

Also, your question is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen on these message boards!

Just watch the movie and try and enjoy it.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I saw no theological or religious message in this film at all. It is solely about dealing with grief and loss and one's reactions to them--whether or not they are the "right" reactions.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I'll take your question seriously (if that is how you mean it) and say that this movie is about as real as a young adult film about grief, death, and becoming an adult can get, maybe even more so. I urge you to see it, it's excellent.

Trying to create a channel based on interpreting, reviewing, and even giving you something to laugh about film. Hope you enjoy what you see. Thanks in advance.

Review of the film here-https://youtu.be/ZxZwCR72QvA

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I understand, you know the first thing I do when considering a movie with a talking tree monster is to make sure it doesn't contain anything I don't believe to be real.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Ha! I laughed out loud at that! Well done!

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

This is a really strange question for so many reasons. I consider myself Agnostic but I would have no issue seeing movies that contain things that I don't necessarily believe are true, especially when said film has fantasy elements including a talking tree monster.

In response to your frankly absurd question, though, no there are no theological or religious messages or references in this movie. It's about grief and dealing with loss.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Also, I would add, being Agnostic is supposed to mean that you're open minded towards religion and other ideas and beliefs even if you're unsure if you believe in it or not yourself. So your entire post is even more confusing.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

To be fair, there's plenty of different kinds of Agnostics. For me, I consider myself Agnostic-Atheist, I can't prove or disprove any religion and I wouldn't want to try to do so, but my personal belife is there isn't enough evidance to support religion. I personally, would not want to see a film if it had religious undertones.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I consider myself Agnostic-Atheist

Not a thing. Ever met a Hindu-Muslim, Christian-Rastafarian or an eight foot tall man who's three foot tall? If you are one then are a in a totalitarian state of being - the Venn Diagram *cannot* overlap.

Agnosticism is a state of uncertainty and Atheism is a state of absolute certainty. You cannot be both.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I like how you responded like you are some sort of authority on the matter, well guess what, you don't get to tell me what to do.

It's a thing, and a simple Google search is enough to show that it is.


Now go get bent.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I won't fall back on mocking Wikipedia as I take it as a source of information too. But I will trump it...



No entry for your bastardised terminology though. Please do however pay attention to the definitions of each word and how they provide zero room for overlap.

you don't get to tell me what to do

No but I can point out basic common sense and illogical thought processes.

In your defense Wiki does have a lot of other entries for non words too though.


All the desire in the world won't make something so non sequitur into an acceptable term.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I disagree with you. The ending has a very religious overtone. His grandfather was the tree for goodness sake, acting as a guardian angel of sorts.

I'm an Atheist and I found no offense in any of this movie, people can believe in whatever they like as long as they do no harm in the name of it.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I disagree with you in terms of the ending. I don't think the grandfather was the tree or that the grandfather was acting as a guardian angel at all. The picture of Liam Neeson as the grandfather I just viewed as a little easter egg for the viewer or thought the filmmakers just thought it was easier to use a picture of an actor that they had already hired for the movie rather than adding someone else to the cast list just for one photo. However, my view on that is probably biased due to the fact that I read the book first and in the book there is no reference at all to what the grandfather looks like or to whether or not he may be the tree, so him being the tree never even occurred to me or crossed my mind. Although, maybe they decided to hint at it in the film as there was also never any reference in the book that the mother had called the monster before. I still didn't think it was the case, though.

So to me, or as far as I was concerned, the ending also doesn't have any religious overtones but I guess it's down to interpretation. I think the movie has a lot about faith itself, but faith and religion are two different things.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Cheater! It's really not fair to bring the book into this since as you said they did change some stuff. I can only comment as to the film, using him because he was hired already is nowhere near a plausible argument. Easter egg - perhaps. I'll keep fighting my original point.

Your right about faith and religion being separate though. It's the discussion about a hot tub and a Jacuzzi (from Hot Tub Time Machine) all over again.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Fair point. This is about the movie and not the book so it is unfair to bring it up. I was just trying to explain my thought process because I'm certain my views on the film are affected by the book. Yeah, I don't think that's a very plausible argument either, even though I suggested it, but I think I was just trying to come up with something. I stand by the Easter Egg comment, though.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

That's a classic folktale trope. European tales are full of fairy godmothers, animal helpers, and yes, trees, that turn out to be or to contain the spirit of of a dead parent. There's nothing religious about a story including such a figure, any more than a story with ghosts in it would be 'religious'.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I remember a lovely TV serial (one of the Eastern European ones that the BBC used to show with dubbing in the '70s) of Three Gifts for Cinderella, where her gifts came via hazelnuts from a tree that seemed to be linked up with her dead mother. It's on IMDb:

"Active but Odd"

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

There were terrific films and TV programmes made in Eastern Europe in the 50s-70s based on folk tales. This was at least partly because folklore was by definition ideologically OK in Soviet-dominated regimes, and creative people could get on and make that kind of film or programme without the continual interference by censors that present-day or historical subjects routinely got. Sometimes they actively sneaked a subversive message in, but as often they just enjoyed the relief of not having their project constantly prodded and niggled with.

But their troubles were the British child's gain, since their output was relatively cheap for British TV stations to buy and show.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I now discover it's out on DVD and on YouTube. It was a beautiful series (Czech/E German co-production)! It's a pity they're not shown on TV here nowadays...
The magic hazelnuts contained a hunting outfit, a ballgown and a wedding-dress.

"Active but Odd"

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I totally understand and assure you this is definitely not along the lines of "God is real" or that horrible one with the little boy who saw heaven or whatever.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I understand where you are coming from and I can say without reservation that there is no underlying religious message. The only time "faith" is mentioned is it referring to faith in oneself or an outcome. Faith in hope, if that makes any sense. If you would like to know more, I just posted my review


I am prickly about that kind of slant in a movie and did not get that feel from A Monster Calls.

Definitely NOT for under 13.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

The religious leanings of this movie are slight and well placed. I enjoyed it immensely, I feel the advertising has suggested what the movie delivered fully.

I'm an Atheist if that matters to you.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Just saw it this afternoon ... I didn't find anything religious about the story.

There is not-

I think this is a totally legitimate question, not sure why some are so put off by it.

There is not an underlying theological message, I would say there is not even a spiritual message put forth in the movie. It obviously involves dreams and fantastical creatures, but its messages are about human emotions and experience.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I am total non-theist an have seen this incredible film twice now and can confirm there is no theological message at all hidden or otherwise.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

maybe if you read it into it. don't know to what extent you don't want your theology pounding (i.e. the man of steel movie was a turn off for some people i know because it was basically a jesus story, but if you don't read it that way, then it isn't). i think you could read it as theology if you choose to do so.

but, you got a talking tree that's the size of liam neeson's cock, so a true agnost would find that complicated, since there are no metaphysical phenoms in that concept. if you're ok with trees talking, then you should be fine. i'm a believer so maybe i'm not the one to talk to, but my homies are a mix of theists and non-theists and somewhere in between, so they would tell me when *beep* is full of jeezo *beep*

oh, and some are really down on western religion

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I'm Athiest and I didnt pick up any of those tones. Go watch it.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

mwagner71592, I absolutely loved your reply...LOL

I am Catholic and I loved the film, but I didn't get it as having any religious messages behind it, to be fair, I think it's very sad for someone not to enjoy and watch a good film just from being afraid tuo might have to listen to a religious philosofical idea, it's the same than me refusing to see anything that does not embrace my religious belief, you should be far more open minded, it's the 21st century we are living in.

PLus, I think that LIam Neeson coming up as her dad was just an Easter egg, for the viewers as he does the MOnster's voice and what a brilliant choice it was,no one could play it better, not even Jeromy Irons or James Earl Jones

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

Not really, unless you count the fact the monster's tree is growing in a graveyard next to a chapel, there's no overtly theological message to the film.

The story has more of a footing in allegory and folklore than religion.

If you feel like Picard screaming how many lights there are, it's time to walk away from the thread.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I'm a deist and anti-theist, which is to say I believe strongly in the existence of a God who is powerless to act.

I saw no theological message at all. And this is easily the best fantasy movie since 2008's The Fall, or, if you disqualify that for being merely about fantasy, then since Pan's Labyrinth.

Prepare your minds for a new scale of physical, scientific values, gentlemen.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

In an attempt to cut through all the chatter and answer the question, I just saw it and, no, there was no theological bent one way or another. There was one scene with a story about a preacher but it didn't get specific as to what he preached or why.

Warlock: What, like you're a big fan of the Fett?
McLane: No, I was always more of a Star Wars guy.

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

lol troll was successful troll lol

Re: A question for those who have seen it.

I am also a non-theist and I found the film's messages about grief and death to be perfect. I did not cringe once against some underlying religious message. It was just about the unfairness of life, fear of the inevitable, coming to terms with our own inner battles against loss, and acceptance. Very psychological rather than spiritual. No proselytizing at all.

I cried a lot and really loved it.

Movies are IQ tests; the IMDB boards are how people broadcast their score.