Verdict: 3 / 5
The thing about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is that although it plays out like another clichéd Young Adult movie you’ve seen a dozen times over, but what saves it is the fact that it doesn’t take itself seriously, blending in drama, horror, thrills and comedy to deliver a pretty solid package. The cast are clearly having a good time and there are some decent performances put in here for the calibre of film you’re getting and also, for a bunch of kids to hold their own against the likes of Terrence Stamp, Eva Green and Dame Judi Dench is an impressive feat to behold.
Jake (Butterfield) is an ordinary teen living the mundane life in a crappy town somewhere in Florida, but that all changes when he gets a distressing call from his grandfather (Stamp), who everyone (including Jake) thinks delusional and senile… Because old people. However, upon investigation, Jake finds his grandfather fatally wounded by unknown forces, but before he passes, he tells Jake that some bird will explain everything and that he needs to “find the loop and, September 3rd, 1943.” Initially, Jake dismisses this, but through plot devices (!!!), Jake finds out that his grandfathers stories of being a monster hunter and living in a home for children with extraordinary gifts — the very things which got him labelled a loon — might not be that farfetched, so he and his (miscast) father (O’Dowd) head off to the Welsh island of Cairnholm to investigate this and get Jake some closure. And that’s where the >censored< starts getting >censored< crazy as >censored< >censored<.
Jake eventually finds the children from his grandfather’s stories and discovers the world of Peculiars — which is a fancy way of saying (and ensuring Marvel’s lawyers don’t come after your ass because they have a monopoly on the word) “mutants.” The children — whose abilities range from dream projection to fire starting to air control to super strength to Reanimator infringement — live in a home headed by the lovely Miss Peregrine (Green), who acts as headmistress/guardian to the children and, is an Ymbryne — she has the ability to control time, which she has done, creating a loop of September 3, 1943, whereas they live the same day on repeat, but because of this, they are essentially immortal.
But things aren’t all sunshine and moonbeams as the Peculiars are being hunted by Slender Men Hollowgasts, abominations created when Samuel L. Jackson tried to make him and his friends immortal using the powers of an Ymbryne, and have spent their time trying to regain their human forms by eating the eyes of Peculiars, which somehow has restorative effects on these Hollows.
As you’d expect, Samuel L. Jackson and his goonies come into conflict with Miss Peregrine, Jake and the children, as Samuel L. Jackson seeks to recreate his experiment and get rid of those who stand in his way, which just happens to be Jake and these wonderful little children, but will he manage this? Will Jake and his Neverland Pirates new friends succeed in stopping him? Will Goku traverse Snake Way in time? And, will Freeza finally gather all 7 Dragon Balls? Find out next time… On Dragon Ball Z!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children never truly goes over the top in the Sharknado type of way, instead, like the aerokinetic Emma Bloom (played by the utterly and unfairly gorgeous Ella Purnell, whose beauty and elegance is transcendent, piercing the multidimensional fabric of existence to echo true in whichever conceivable reality you happen to perceive), it floats just above the clouds in childlike bliss, never quite getting too far out there, but getting far enough to ensure a pretty fantastic ride.