In the same vein as A Monster Calls, I Kill Giants blends fantasy and reality into a touching coming of age tale about a teenage girl dealing with school, family, bullies and colossal monsters set on destroying her home town.
Madison Wolfe from Zoo and the Conjuring 2 plays Barbara an outcast who is taunted and teased at school for her odd behavior and obsession with magic and fantasy, an obsession with takes over her life as she spends every hour she can setting traps and making potions to defeat the evil giants that she sees besieging her town.
From frost giants to swamp giants to mountain giants to the most powerful of all the Titans Barbara knows that what everyone else sees as natural disasters are really these mythical beings and by watching for omens and preparing herself for battle she can save those closest to her.
As much as Barbara believes in the existence of these behemoths everyone else has trouble understanding her actions causing conflict and chaos in all areas of her life. Her big sister Karen (Imogen Poots from Green Room) is desperately trying to hold the family together working and caring for everyone while at school a new counselor Mrs Mollé (Guardians of the Galaxy’s Zoe Saldana) struggles just as hard to find out what is behind Barbara’s aggressive outbursts and outlandish claims.
When Sophia (Sydney Wade seen in Bedlam) a new girl arrives from England equally estranged from the rest of the small town it appears Barbara is finally opening up however when she loses focus of her sacred mission the spiteful bullies and the unstoppable goliaths start to threaten everything she holds dear.
Based on the critically acclaimed graphic novel by Image Comics Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura I Kill Giants plays out like a younger modern day fairytale version of Donnie Darko as the disturbed central character tries to convince everyone of the impending doom while doubting their own sanity at the same time.
Nicely shot the family drama is fitted well alongside scenes of Barbara’s epic struggles against the mystical evil with the whole town as her battlefield she fills it with ancient ruins and giant traps facing off against the superbly realized monsters in some terrifically tense scenes.
The filter of fantasy Barabra views the world through is her way of dealing with her depressing and difficult reality and the question as to if the giants are really real or not is irrelevant really as the themes of raging adolescent emotions and the disturbing climax of childhood are far more important.
As much about trying to understand the world and it’s seemingly random and sometimes cruel nature as dealing with life, death and everything else I Kill Giants is a great film for kids and parents alike entertaining and emoting in equal measures and showing that we can all find strength even when facing giant adversity.