Did someone say Peculiar Children?
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the latest film by odd ball director Tim Burton. The man who brought us Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005), and Alice in Wonderland(2010). He has not given us much to shout about over the last 4 years. Frankenweenie being the last thing I was interested in seeing. Could this be the film to remind us of his talents and introduce this imaginative visionary to a new young generation?
This film is based on the novel by Ransom Riggs. I have not read the book so am coming at this with unguided and open mind. The film starts in Florida in the present day, where we are introduced to Jake Portman. A gangly teenager, with a father that doesn’t take much interest in him. Consequently he has a very strong bond with his grandfather. Who has told him fantastical stories of his travels, adventures and incredible friends.
After a sudden family tragedy Jake is unknowingly set on a different course. One that finds him questioning whether his grandfather’s stories were actually true. This is where things get really interesting.
The story of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is great and Burton’s style is well suited to it. His style also lends itself to the nature of the characters. He is free to use many of the techniques he has perfected over the years. And this is none more prevalent than in a small stop frame animation scene we are treated to, when Jake meets peculiar child Enoch.
I was worried about not knowing the story or characters. But not having that predetermined expectation reading the book might bring, left me open to enjoy it for what it is. A lovely piece of storytelling. The only thing that may niggle a bit is the age old dilemma of a time travel paradox. Yes we do dabble in a little time travel and if you try to pick apart the story you will find holes. But ignore this and basque in the entertainment and you won’t be dissapointed. The special effects and pacing are also well worth the admission fee.
What’s the Verdict?
The only thing to be wary of with this film, is showing it to children younger than 12. Some of the characters, namely Barron(Samuel L. Jackson) and the Hollows might be a little scary for those with active imaginations. And the fact that they eat eyeballs might also be a little disturbing for younger viewers.