In the last couple years Liam Neeson has positioned himself as the scourge of kidnappers, murderers, terrorists, and wolves everywhere. But he still has room in his heart for children, as shown by the latest trailer for  A Monster Calls, in which Neeson voices a big friendly giant (hm, where have I seen this concept recently?) who befriends a young boy struggling with his mother’s illness. The mother is played by Felicity Jones, and Sigourney Weaver (who’s actually top-billed in the trailer) stars as the boy’s grandmother.

The film is directed by J.A. Bayona, who first grabbed cinephiles’ attention with his terrifically unsettling horror movie The Orphanage in 2007. He followed it a few years later with The Impossible, the story of a family surviving a tsunami. And next he’s directing one of the biggest sequel on the upcoming release calendar, Jurassic World 2. Before that, though, he’s got A Monster Calls, which seems to twist The Orphanage’s blend of fantasy and childhood into a more hopeful and more uplifting concoction. (The Orphanage was about as uplifting as a heart attack.)

Here’s the full plot synopsis:

A visually spectacular drama from director J.A. Bayona (“The Impossible”). 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Toby Kebbell plays Conor’s father, and Liam Neeson stars in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting Monster of the title.

So Neeson performance-captured the Monster as well as provided the voice? I hope that means that at some point in the film the Monster kicks three Eastern European terrorists in the throat simultaneously. A Monster Calls opens in theaters on October 21, 2016.