Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is an adventure-fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and based on a novel by Ransom Riggs is, despite controversy, really enjoyable and entertaining.
I am inclined to agree with what seems like a popular consensus and say that Burton’s all white casts in his films makes me deeply uncomfortable, especially as a fan of his work. Making the single black character in this particular film the villain worsens the situation. While Burton’s choices of cast and character designs make me uneasy, this review of the film will not be focusing on the cast. That’s not to diminish its importance but to focus solely on the movie.
The low ratings for which Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has received from sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are, in my opinion, purely because of two factors: the aforementioned controversy and the idea that many are tired of Burton’s particular style and movie formula.
Most of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children stays surprisingly close to the novel and, as a fan of it, I was pleased with this adaptation. Overall, the film looked really good and the majority of the effects and Computer-Generated Imagery were done convincingly or artistically, and did not detract from the film as CGI and special effects in film are sometimes wont to do.
The acting was far above average and the cast moulded perfectly to their characters. Burton and Eva Green’s take on Miss Peregrine was different from what I had imagined but quickly grew into one I enjoyed. She was over dramatic and seemed a bit mad which is on par for Burton and an excellent match for Green.
Asa Butterfield as Jake also committed to a commendable performance and his chemistry with Ella Purnell was believable. Similarly, his relationship with Terence Stamp who played his grandfather, Abe, was emotionally deep and successfully gets the audience invested.
While I felt that the film occasionally felt juvenile and goofy, it stayed on track and never once felt rushed or dragged on. However, the goofiness did lead to an absurd death, a less menacing villain, an overly large carrot and the survival of some characters whose encounters should have meant death.
The ending of the film, which I will not spoil, is satisfying enough but I felt that it glazed over a lot of information very quickly that I would have liked to see explored in more depth. Perhaps, that is information best kept in other media.
For the most part Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is artistically stunning and very obviously a Burton production. All of the characters are over the top (in a good way), but it’s not perfect. In the state of film today the question cannot be ignored and so I will ask: will there be a sequel? Honestly, I’m not sure but I’d like to see it and would not be remiss at all to return to this imaginative world and these entertaining characters. The film is good fun and if you can appreciate it as it’s own work, divorced from the scandal surrounding its director and his formulaic back catalogue, I think you will likely enjoy it.
I happily give Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a 74/100.