To begin a review of MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN I feel it’s important to say that I have not read the novel that this film is based upon by Ransom Riggs, so my review is not tainted with the literary imagery and lofty expectations that usually color a movie experience, bleakly. I entered into this strange, dark and amazing world filled with brilliant incarnations of imagination with a complete open mind, having no idea what to expect at any turn. So, I found nothing but mystery, wonder, peculiarities, danger and delight.
One of the most delightful experiences in watching this film had to do with meeting each of the children that lived in Miss Peregrene’s home and to learn about their powers and peculiarities as they interacted with Jake, played by Asa Butterfield and Miss Peregrine played by the magnificent Eva Green. There is no other director but Tim Burton who could have manifested such curious and lovable persons for you to meet. Spanning different locations, times and time loops, the story is about young Jake unveiling mysteries about his beloved grandfather and himself that ultimately saves the lives of many as frightening creatures loom and attack. Plus, we all learn the valuable lesson that loyalty and getting to know the unique talents, powers and gifts of your friends helps everyone prevail.
Director Tim Burton is at his finest in this film, giving us his signature dark whimsical vision in a story most fitting of his enormous visual talents. A tale steeped in mythology and strange characters is beautifully portrayed by their actors and brilliantly accented by elaborate costumes, mystical settings and intense graphics as everyone recoils at the sight of the frightening eyeball eating villain played by Samuel L. Jackson. Much credit for the film’s success must also go to screenwriter Jane Goldman who provided an alluring, quizzical, occasionally humorous and always endearing coming-of-age adventure script. It’s a little violent and a little creepy with a lot of heart and a small love story brewing towards the end to keep it all balanced out. MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN is an unusual dark and enchanting children’s film most appropriate for the young at heart.