There’s been plenty of talk about Bong Joon Ho’s latest film, Okja. The director of hits like The Host and Snowpiercer returns to the world of giant monsters, although this time around it’s a much more friendly creature.

In 2007, Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) takes over the family business and is building it into an eco-friendly behemoth. In order to combat world hunger, Lucy has found a new breed of pig which grows to massive size. To hype the discovery, 26 of the creatures are sent to different parts of the world to be raised by a company selected farmer, as they compete in a competition to see who can raise the most perfect super pig. It will take 10 years before the winner is announced, and all the pigs will be monitored by the company, as well as having nature show host Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal) help in deciding the winner.

One pig is sent to the mountains of South Korea to live with Mija (An Seo Hyun) and her grandfather. Named Okja, the super pig lives a leisurely life with companion Mija. With the 10 year competition now up, Okja is chosen as the perfect super pig. What Mija doesn’t realize is that Okja will now be returned to the company. Desperate to bring her friend back home to the mountains, and save Okja from becoming another meal sold to the publich, Mija heads to the Mirando Corporation in Seoul. Along the way, she runs into an animal rights group led by Jay (Paul Dano), who also want to free Okja, but only after using the super pig to expose the cruel practices the Mirando Corporation has been taking part in. Mija seems powerless to stop what is happening to Okja, but after a very public escape attempt, Lucy Mirando decides to use Mija’s connection to Okja to bring the public back on her side, and Mija feels like it’s her final option to save her friend.

While Okja is certainly a wonderful film, it’s also a film that feels like it’s two separate movies. For the first half, it feels a lot like the kind of kids adventure films we would have watched in the ’80s. I couldn’t help but think of how fun it would be to watch with the whole family. Despite looking like a cross between a pig and a hippo, Okja is rather cute, and the relationship between her and Mija is adorable. Okja is rather intelligent, proven by a daring rescue attempt early in the film when Mija almost falls from a cliff. Mija is also a very strong character, constantly battling against the old fashioned ideas that her grandfather has of what she should become as she grows older. It’s exciting and cute, and has just enough danger to bring some suspense without terrifying younger viewers.

Swinton and Gyllenhaal are just over-the-top enough to enjoy, with Swinton playing the clueless CEO of Mirando, as well as her much more evil twin sister Nancy, while Gyllenhaal seems to be channelling Pee Wee Herman as the Crocodile Hunter. He’s closer to the moustache twirling villain than Swinton is, but it’s goofy enough to work. Throw in the animal rights group members like Steven Yeun and Lily Collins, who spend half their time apologizing to everybody for what they’re about to do to them, and you’ve got a great family film.

Once Okja hits the halfway mark, it takes a very dark turn into something you would find on a PETA website. Okja is taken to a breeding facility, resulting in a scene that is thankfully something we only hear and not see. From here, Okja is broken. She can’t really recognize Mija, and it will all lead to a disturbing trip to the production facility where Mirando is making food for the world. Things get rather violent, and even characters like Gyllenhaal’s become dark, twisted versions of what we saw in the first hour.

Okja is still a fantastic film, and it hits with an emotional punch you may not be expecting, but it is definitely not for younger family members by the end. I honestly can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The tease of bringing a family adventure film like E.T. or The Goonies back to the screen is enticing, but the second half of Okja really brings home the impact of the story. It could even be enough to convince some to become vegetarian. It’s just not for kids. Not in the slightest. Forget about Bambi’s mom. Okja will leave young kids in terror towards the end. Let that be a warning to anybody who is wondering if they should gather young kids in front of the television.