This highly anticipated Burton flick, based on the book by Ransom Riggs, is about a boy, Jake, played by Asa Butterfield, who’s Grandfather, Abe, played by Terence Stamp, dies under unusual circumstances uttering a few last words to Jake about finding a “1943 loop”. Remembering the stories his grandfather told him as a child about the children’s home for peculiar children Jake heads to Wales to seek it out.
Initially he doesn’t find anything, but upon returning to the ruins of the children home he meets some peculiar children who take him to the 1943 loop. When he gets there he discovers that they are under attack by “Hollows” which are peculiars turned in to creatures accidentally by Barron, Samuel L Jackson, who seek out the eyes of peculiars to get their human forms back. Jake and the other children team up to defeat them.
This is Burton at his best. The entire story screams out Burton and he did a great job with it as well. Reminiscent of his Beetlejuice days the story is about a group of outcasts who, in this case, band together and create a world of normality for themselves. The thought of having to hide feels very Burton-esque as well.
Performances all round were fantastic, but the stand out performance was Terence Stamp who should have gotten a lot more screen time, or perhaps should get a side film to this one about his adventures in the time loops. Another stand out performance was Eva Green who brought Miss Peregrine to life and seems to work really well with Burton, although I feel as if she could have used less screen time. Characterisation in general was great.
The thing about films like this one and similar is we watch them thinking “I wish I could be that character” or “I wish I lived in their world” which makes it a lot more enjoyable for the viewers because they imagine themselves in a happier fantasy world than their own, which is one of the best things about Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children, you genuinely WANT to be with the characters.
Scripting and writing in general was very strong, as was the cinematography, animation and editing. The stop motion scenes were particularly exciting and fantastic, as always I am happy to see it used in mainstream media.
All in all this is a great film that feels like Burton back on his game.