The trailer for I Kill Giants recently dropped and, if you’re hoping to see a young girl hunt giants with an enormous hammer, well, you’re in luck. Far more than a mere fantasy, the film, based on a popular graphic novel of the same name, is actually a profound, Pan’s Labyrinth-esque meditation on grief and the imaginary worlds one escapes to when they are confronted by trauma.
The story follows Barbara, a lonely, creative fifth-grade girl who hates school and has few friends. She’s a young girl being raised by a stressed out older sister and is bullied, ridiculed, or ignored by almost everyone around her.To escape her less-than-ideal reality, she retreats to a fantasy world and she spends her free time obsessively preparing for a battle against dangerous giants who lives in the neighboring forest. With the help of a new friend and a school therapist (Zoe Saldana), she eventually learns to face the giants — and the actual monsters that torment her.
Much like A Moster Calls, I Kill Giants is about how, faced with trauma, children are often faster to isolate themselves into created worlds and make enemies of everyone who tries to help them than they are to be vulnerable and open about how they feel.
The graphic novel, written by Joe Kelly and illustrated by artist J. M. Ken Niimura, was excellent. And if they can translate any of the magic to screen, I Kill Giants should be worth a ticket. The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last year and is slated for a wider release on March 23rd.