Film review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (4 out of 5)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

One thing you can be certain of with a Tim Burton movie and that is the unexpected.

Sometimes this insistence on doing things the Burton way can come a cropper (eg Batman Forever and Dark Shadows) but quite often you can end up with a film that entertains and keeps you guessing.

This latest effort is based on Ransom Riggs’ 2011 book of the same name and it’s no surprise that Burton picked up the rights quickly.

It has all the hallmark quirkiness inherent in all of the director’s projects.

Young English actor Asa Butterfield (sporting a decent US accent) tries to track down a strange school after being left a message by his late grandfather (Terence Stamp).

He travels with his father (Chris O’Dowd) to a remote Welsh village where he discovers a group of peculiar folk and encounters a plot that threatens the life of his new friends.

Although the movie has a 12A certificate it’s certainly quite scary in places, with unpleasant creatures that wouldn’t look out of place on a Doctor Who set.

Burton doesn’t seem to have any problem pulling together a great cast and Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Allison Janney and Samuel L. Jackson (at his very evil best) are in good form.

Eva Green excels as the mysterious Miss Alma LeFay Perigrine and the young actors playing the ‘peculiar’ pupils are all very good.

Sadly there are annoying problems with a plot that relies on the audience going with the flow. It’s a shame as a lot of the more fantastic elements are explained well, but some of the mundane parts of the action leave you with questions.

The special effects are excellent and the story cracks on at a good pace.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable movie but it loses some of its credibility if you analyse it too deeply afterwards.

Film details: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (12A) 127mins

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol