The highest-profile monster movie so far has been A Monster Calls
, a tearjerker about a 12-year old boy—played by the impressive Lewis MacDougall (Pan
)—who is living with his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) and coping with his mother's (Felicity Jones) fatal illness. The boy summons a gargantuan tree monster (Liam Neeson) to act out his rage. During the screening, many of the audience members wept, but I found A Monster Calls
too sentimental and manipulative.
, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudekis, is an odd-duck of a movie. Hathaway plays an alcoholic who discovers her movements control a terrifying Godzilla-type monster threatening Korea. The film, an unsubtle allegory, is sometimes hilarious, sometimes moody and even occasionally dull.
Other monsters at TIFF include the aliens in Arrival
and the earthbound animals in Morgan Spurlock's spine-tingling documentary Rats
the murderous creature in The Limehouse Golem.
The Limehouse Golem
, an English horror film starring the always-wonderful Bill Nighy, is a devilish Victorian-era thriller set in 1880 London. A string of grisly murders are happening in the notorious Limehouse district, home to a music hall. A number of the hall's troupe are suspects, including actors, a playwright and even Karl Marx—but the press exploits the idea only the mythical Golem, who delights in preying upon immigrants and the poor, could be responsible. Scotland Yard Inspector Kildare (Nighy) must track down the killer, who- or whatever it may be.
"I'll wager that there's a tale being told here," says Kildare. "But it's up to us to decide if we can sink to the Golem's level of damnation to solve it."
There are monsters all around Toronto International Film Festival 2016.