Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Growing up, Jake’s grandfather use to tell him all kinds of stories about his past at a school for peculiar children, however, as Jake grew into a teenager, he found out that many of the stories were fibs and lies. When his grandfather dies unexpectedly, Jake takes it very hard and, in order to cope, Jake and his father decide to travel to Wales in order to get closure. However, once they arrive, Jake realizes his grandfather never lied about his past or the school.
Directed by the master of strange and peculiar Tim Burton (Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice), Tim Burton’s family charm is written all over this. Just as in the 3 movies I mentioned previously, Miss Peregrine’s is one of Tim Burton’s less colorful movies as it focuses more on the cool earth tones of grey, blue and black mostly. The tone is par with what mood he is trying to create, but it never is too depressing.
The characters and story of this movie are both its biggest positives and, in their own way, their biggest hindrances. The story is likable and interesting and I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie about eyeball-eating monsters and a school full of weird kids who live the same day over and over. The beginning feels similar to that of Big Fish (also by Burton), but that soon changes once the story moves overseas. I enjoyed the fights with the monsters and the kids using their abilities for the good of the group, but the part that I disliked the most is the time travel. As I’m sure most people can attest to, it is a rather confusing area of the film, the whole “they relive the same day over and over.” I understand there are time loops and several in the world, but how big are these loops because apparently the one over the school extends to the pub. I also thought that once a living thing exited the loop that they “catch up” with present time and most likely will die. If that is the case, shouldn’t the children have died when they leave on the boat chasing after Barron? It’s not a huge issue, but it is one that detracts from the enjoyment.
The other aspect that is likable is the characters. The children are quirky, nice and interesting, however I hesitate to use the word “peculiar” as the title suggests. These children feel more like mutants from the Marvel world who had the disadvantage of being born with stupid power that can’t be used for anything of purpose. A kid who spits bees? A kid who is lighter than air so she floats? They aren’t horrible to the story but they definitely feel strange. Samuel L. Jackson is the one who steals the show here as the villain. He is creepy, funny and memorable all at the same time. He is becoming one of the best bad guys in all of Hollywood and he is no exception here. I wish Eva Green had been in the movie more as I liked her character of Miss Peregrine as well.
All in all, Miss Peregrine’s is a fine movie with interesting aspects and things that are unique. I think there are many factors that could have been inproved upon to make this movie great instead of simply good. I still like it and have seen it twice now so I recommend this movie for young and old! Good family movie! Starring Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrance Stamp, Chris O’Dowd, Finlay MacMillian, Georgia Pemberton, Hayden Keeler-Stone, Lauren McCostie, Milo Parker, Raffiella Chapman, and Rupert Everett.
7/10 Stars – Even if it has some minor flaws holding it back, Miss Peregrine’s is a fine Tim Burton addition for the whole family to enjoy!