‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ (2016, 12A)

Is ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ a fantastic fantasy, or is it just too peculiar for my taste?

After the death of his grandfather, who often told him stories of weird and wonderful people and places, Jake (Asa Butterfield) decides to find out about his relative’s mysterious past and childhood, and his many peculiar friends. But, he soon encounters a danger he could never imagine — and realises he’s the only one who can stop it!

Without reading the books, I didn’t really have much of a clue what ‘Miss Peregrine’ was going to be about, although it looked a bit like the recent ‘Alice In Wonderland’ films (also directed by Tim Burton). H0wever, about a third of the way in, it soon transpired to be a lot darker that the two ‘Alice In Wonderland’ films — both of which I thought to be quite scary considering their source material. ‘Miss Peregrine’, though, was a whole other level, and well-deserved its ’12A’ rating.

Despite the fact that some scenes may make you sick, this film does have some redeeming qualities. For the most part, the CGI was good, but on the odd occasion, it did look noticeably fake. The cast all gave good performances in their respective roles, although I would’ve liked to have seen more of some of the bigger stars and their characters, such as Judi Dench and her character (I’m still trying to work out what the point of her really was) and Samuel L. Jackson and his villain, Baron.

WARNING! THE BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ‘MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN’. CONTINUE AT READERS’ DISCRETION

I do prefer not to spoil films in my reviews, but there are some things that need to be said about this film. First and foremost is that it is riddled with plot-holes and inconsistencies. Now I know that I’m a bit of a nit-picker when it comes to inconsistencies in sci-fi/fantasy movies, but some of these were so blatantly obvious it was as if the writer was making up the rules for each character’s powers as they went along (thinking about it, that’s probably what did happen).

There were also quite a few ‘as if’ moments — and yes, I know this film is all about a home for children with weird and wonderful powers and so it’s all an ‘as if’ moment, but some things that happened were just too mad. The most obvious example of this is getting a sunken warship that’s been lying on the seabed for about 20 years to not only work but to become a submarine, and make it’s way to the surface and be captained by a team of children who manage to get from Wales to Brighton with no assistance — not even a map.

Finally, the villain in this film is poor. I had high hopes about Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of the character Baron, as I always do about Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of any character. But in ‘Miss Peregrine’, he was hardly in it, and when he was it was really only for a bit of comic relief. The character of Baron was also a bit grim, his M.O. being that he ate the eyeballs of children to regain human form from being a giant, tentacled monster (watch the film if you’re that interested).

Overall, ‘Miss Peregrine’ isn’t all bad, although I have mentioned a few of its flaws. A good cast and performance are great to watch, but a plot riddled with problems and a villain who wasn’t quite as good as I hoped means I’ll have to give ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ six-out-of-ten.

6/10.

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