One of the great joys of watching movies is to find a movie that you're not quite sure what to expect from and discover it to be a gem. It doesn't happen often. You either read something about it, a friend tells you about it, you just come across it or maybe you see an interesting trailer. It is coming into a film with no expectations and discovering it that makes it amazing. Such was the case for me with I KILL GIANTS.
Barbara (Madison Wolfe) is a young teenage girl with a number of quirks. She makes traps in the woods, creates her own special mixture for bait and walks around with fake rabbit ears on her head. To say she is quirky is an understatement. But there is a method to her madness. As she explains via narration, her goal is to protect the town she lives in and the people she loves from giants.
She lives with her brother and her sister Karen (Imogen Poots) in a beach front home in Long Island. She shows an interest in games like Dungeons and Dragons but has no one to play with. With plenty of wooded areas to roam in and lay her traps she spends most of her days alone. Then one day on the beach she meets Sophia (Sydney Wade). Just moved here from England Sydney has no friends and Barbara takes her into her confidence telling her what she does. She also shares the secret of her handbag tagged Coveleski, her secret weapon.
At school Barbara is socially awkward, as we would expect, and the target of the school girl bully Taylor (Rory Jackson). One run in results in Barbara being sent to the new school counselor Mrs. Molle (Zoe Saldana). We get the impression through the actions of both that something is going on we're not privy to. The end result is Barbara being more confrontational rather than helpful, feeling her time is being wasted with Mrs. Molle.
Taylor tells Sophia that she will let her in on a secret of Barbara's if she will tell her what she knows about her. The end result is Taylor and her friends dismantling the traps Barbara has set up on the beach and then beating her. Sophia takes Barbara home where she wakes frightened in her bed, fearful of something upstairs. Sophia discovers Barbara's secret and runs from the house.
The friends come face to face again after Barbara faces off against one of the attacking giants in an abandoned railway yard. Their friendship hasn't quite gone back to what it once was yet. As a storm approaches Barbara prepares to do battle on the beach where Taylor destroyed her traps. In the meantime Karen and Mrs. Molle search for Barbara, fearful of what may have happened.
Here is the thing about this movie, starting with the trailer. It's based on a graphic novel of the same name which I'd never read. The trailer was filled with special effects moments of Barbara doing battle with actual giant creatures. But as the story unfolds on film you notice two things. The first is that no one else is ever around when Barbara is confronted by the giants or the warning specters she calls harbingers. The second is that you begin to wonder if there are really giants or is there something going on with Barbara we're not aware of just yet. Both are possibilities and the answer isn't revealed until her final battle.
The movie works on so many levels. There is plenty of humor involved her in the form of Barbara and her quirks on display. There is drama in the characters of Karen who's trying to keep her family together and care for them as well as in Mrs. Molle who wants to help Barbara. There is the comradery of the two girls who become friends in the unlikeliest of possibilities. There is action in the form of battles with bad guys both gigantic and personal. And most importantly there is the subject of trying to understand what is behind it all, a mystery of sorts that some will figure out before it is explained but that provides a journey into imagination that makes this story so wonderful.
As I said I went in expecting one thing and came out the other side having watched something that was completely different from those expectations. And it just made the experience that much better. I was enchanted by this film and loved every minute of it. Even knowing the ending I could easily watch it again and gain new items from the film I would have missed the first time around.
After having sat through so many movies that have been praised by critics and hailed with awards I'm always stunned when films like this go unnoticed. Don't let that happen. Find this film and watch it. Be transported to a place where quite possibly giants are there to do battle with. By then end my guess is you'll recognize you may have some giants of your own that need conquering.
I Kill Giants
Drama / Fantasy / Thriller
I Kill Giants
Drama / Fantasy / Thriller
Twelve-year-old Barbara Thorson flees from reality, living in the imaginary world of fantasy and magic, where she fights with giants. Her family does not understand her, peers do not like her, and she irritates teachers. And only recently moved here Sofia, her same age, trying to make friends with her.
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May 16, 2018 at 11:25 PM