Have you ever wondered if you are special? Have you ever set your house on fire by touching a curtain? Or suddenly found yourself levitating under the ceiling? Or maybe you opened your mouth and instead of words a pack of bees flew out. If any of these are the case then no worries, Xavier`s School for Gifted — I mean Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is here for you. The home is a Victorian orphanage locked away in a time loop by Miss Peregrine, the head caretaker and occasional hawk. (She can bend time and turn into a bird.) Miss Peregrine offers a safe haven for peculiar children that only other peculiars can find. Well, them and the monsters.
In our story we follow Jake, whose gift (inherited from his grandpa) lets him see these monsters. Jake was the archetypical adolescent outsider until his grandfather dies under suspicious circumstances and leaves his grandson with the location of a tiny island in Wales. After weeks of unsuccessful counselling, our hero leaves sunny Florida behind for the foggy coast of the British Isles. Jake’s journey to find closure soon becomes the adventure of a lifetime. Or it should have.
When assessing a movie, I always rate according to how much the creation touched me. In story based art this connection must be much more guided by authors because our reaction is restricted to events and characters. Therefore, if a film leaves you empty, especially if it’s a story with potential to differ and go beyond expected, it’s quite heart-breaking in its own way. Director of the movie, Tim Burton is renowned for his amazing ability to bring emotions you wouldn’t expect into moments that are not appropriate for them. At least not at first sight. I mean, in which other movie would you cry over the decaying carcass of a reanimated girl? Yet Emily in Corpse Bride is such a well written and lively (pun intended) character that your cheeks won`t stay dry.
I missed that kind of depth Burton was always able to produce and deliver in the unique atmosphere of his work. It’s not that Mrs. Peregrine’s Home lacked … peculiarity among movies, it’s that it depended solely on it. It would be harsh to say that Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children wasn’t enjoyable at all. The wonder and magic the movie delivered in itself was fun to watch, but the true magic is missing. The spell of a sombre and dark world on top of which you’re going to meet the most likeable characters and warmest stories you ever experienced didn’t shine through. So, if you want to escape reality for a while go down the rabbit hole and watch it. But, don’t expect it to stay in your mind like most of the other works from Tim Burton’s shelf.