Patrick Ness‘s “A Monster Calls” (published in 2011) has been described as a sad but transporting tale about a boy coping with his mother’s illness from terminal cancer, and about a realer-than-real fantasy realm that he retreats into or which sucks him in…you decide. No one knows how J.A. Bayona‘s film version (Focus, 10.14) has turned out, but the trailer indicates that a subtle approach has not been chosen. Liam Neeson‘s overly-enhanced voice and Fernando Velázquez‘s overbearing score tell you that the movie has been aimed at the family idiot trade. It seems to lack the quiet spookiness of Guillermo del Toro‘s somewhat similar Pan’s Labyrinth, and seems a far cry from the the carefully layered, exquisitely underplayed The Orphanage (’07), which is Bayona’s masterpiece.