Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Tim Burton at His Quirky Best
Asa ButterfieldEva Green...
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Master of everything weird and wonderful, Tim Burton, returns to the big screen with a typically and delightfully bizarre story of extraordinary children and menacing monsters in Miss Peregrines’ Home for Peculiar Children. Based on a popular book series of the same name, the director’s unique visual style and playful sense of morbidity is present throughout the story and whilst there are a few hiccups in the film, it’s still engaging and engaging enough to look past the cracks.
The story follows Jake Portman (Butterfield) whose close relationship to his grandfather, Abraham (Stamp), saw the young spend his days and nights listening to his grandfather’s stories about a home for children with unique abilities called Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children where he spent most of his adolescence.
His grandfather’s mind has been slipping lately, though, and Jake can’t help but wonder whether any of the stories he was ever told were true or if they were just a way for him to deal with his traumas of the war. Things soon take a turn for the strange when Jake witnesses his grandfather dying at the hands of a monster no one else can see and in order to get to the bottom of the mystery – and at the same time acquire some much-needed closure – Jake decides to travel to Wales where supposedly one Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine (the wonderful Eva Green) and her group of peculiar children once lived.
Known for his distinctive storytelling voice, Tim Burton takes his time in building the world surrounding the story and its unusual group of characters, whose magical powers and irreplaceable bond serve as the centrepiece of the film. Offering plenty of atmosphere and moments of visual awe along the way, it takes a while before any real action takes place and the villains – particularly Samuel L. Jackson as the malevolent monster named Barron who feeds his powers by eating the eyes of his victims – are introduced. While some might find the story’s prolonged pace a little testy, the story is never boring with the writing ensuring that the carefully laid out introductions of Miss. Peregrine – wonderfully captured by the always magnificent Eva Green – and her unique group of children, is kept captivating and stimulating all the same.
Unfortunately, where the story scores a little low is on the action front which at times feels a little unimaginative, lacking the urgency and the visual flair of the film’s quieter moments. Performance wise, Butterfield proves to be a reliable young lead, but the movie belongs to Ella Purnell who plays Emma Bloom; a strangely beautiful teenage girl who has to wear heavy iron shoes in order not to float away. Her peculiarity and overall innocence about the world surrounding her offers plenty of touching moments.
Quirky, unusual and delightfully creepy, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a fun watch and, undoubtedly, a wonderful addition to Burton’s already magnificent repertoire.