A Good Film Ruined By Poor Marketing
I Kill Giants is a great example of a film with a good premise and strong thematic message ruined by a misleading marketing campaign. Although advertised as a fantasy film and boasting strong fantasy elements, I Kill Giants is far more drama than it is fantasy. Some of the ideas do borrow heavily from last year’s film A Monster Calls and the general mood of the film is one of mystery and intrigue but I Kill Giants wastes far too much time building toward its climax that when the inevitable emotional finale arrives, it doesn’t quite have the same power it could have had.
The story follows the life of Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe), a self proclaimed giant killer, who spends her life hunting and killing giants in the dense forest surrounding her secluded community. Throughout the film, questions are raised around whether giants really do exist or whether Barbara is just imagining everything. As she takes fellow student Sophia (Sydney Wade) under her wing and teaches her about giants, what follows is a journey of acceptance and adventure as Barbara confronts the inner and outer demons in her life.
I Kill Giants is thematically very strong and although the build up during the first act does linger a little too long, the rest of the film does a good job building suspense, mystery and intrigue as Barbara struggles to convince everyone around her that giants exist. There’s some great work done to build up to an emotionally charged climax but despite the strong narrative at play, I Kill Giants borrows elements from A Monster Calls and in doing so, pales in comparison. Unlike A Monster Calls which made it abundantly clear the film was a drama, I Kill Giants teases its fantasy elements a little too long ultimately making it tonally confused , jumping between fantasy and drama whilst failing to mesh these together in a satisfying manner which is sure to divide opinion by many expecting an outright fantasy.
Unfortunately for I Kill Giants, the marketing for this film is ultimately going to make this one of the most divisive titles of the year. I Kill Giants does have fantasy elements but as a fantasy film it fails miserably. As an emotionally charged, deeply personal drama I Kill Giants does a great job with the script and getting decent performances from the actors but again, this pales in comparison to A Monster Calls which is very similar in the issues it tackles.
Going into this one without seeing anything other than the poster, I Kill Giants was a pleasant surprise but after watching the trailer it’s understandable why some will feel misled by this. If you can go into I Kill Giants knowing this isn’t a fantasy film but a drama first and foremost then you’re likely to get more out of this film. Although some of the elements feel overly familiar to last year’s excellent A Monster Calls, there’s just enough originality and intrigue to see it through to the credits, even if it’s unlikely to shake the poor marketing haunting it.