“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” was rather peculiar. And although there might be many who disagree with me, I would venture to say that the film is Tim Burton’s ticket back into the hearts of those who he lost it with “Alice in Wonderland.”
“In the movie’s second half, it’s impossible to follow the story’s gnarled-vine logic,” said Stephanie Zacharek, TIME film critic. “The picture’s elegance devolves into chaos, a mess of noisy, cluttered action sequences, as if Burton didn’t trust us to sit still through something quieter, moodier and more controlled.”
There are, of course, those critics who still think that Burton has lost his elegant ways, but along with them, there are those who find beauty in his newest film.
“This is really Tim Burton’s Home for Peculiar Children,” said Peter Debruge, chief film critic for Variety. “Not since ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and before that, all the way back to ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ have the studios found such a perfect match of material for Hollywood’s most iconic auteur.”
I would have to agree that Burton is back, but I can understand where Zacharek is coming from. There are those scenes that Zacharek is alluding to that seem to “devolve into chaos, a mess of noisy, cluttered action sequences,” but these were so quick that they didn’t take away from the film as a whole.
Zacharek seems to have remembered the small, drawn-out scenes in the movie that begin happening a little past the midway point, but these stylistic mishaps do not diminish Burton’s brilliance.
Once again, Burton was able to bring color to life, which keeps the viewer enthralled by more than just the story being told, but also by his exceptional style choices.
It was Burton’s style that also brought so many surprises to the film. After viewing the previews, I thought that the film would be a cutesy picture that just barely received an MPAA rating of PG-13. But within the first five minutes of the film, I knew that this wasn’t meant for anyone under the age of 13 — unless parents want to give their kids nightmares. That being said, knowing this film was directed by Tim Burton should’ve been my first clue that it was going to be dark.
Overall, there are only a couple films that I have seen in my lifetime that have led me to have a desire to buy and read the book the particular film was based on, and this is definitely one of those. It’ll be interesting to see the cinematic liberty that Tim Burton took into making “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” his own home for peculiar children.
Because this movie has brought Tim Burton out of the dark shadows, I wish I could give it a 5 out of 5. But because it definitely had its flaws, I am forced to give it 4 out of 5 Wildcat paws.