There was a time not so long ago when I would positively salivate in anticipation of a new Tim Burton movie. I’d rev up my excitement by revisiting his classics: Beetlejuice,” “Batman Returns” and “Edward Scissorhands.” But as the years whipped by and the flops piled up, this became less a fun tradition and more a torture session where I’d see how imaginative, wonderfully weird, and emotionally rich his films once were, only to be confronted with how lackluster, lame and self-plagiarizing they are now. A rocky road littered with underwhelmed reviews and poor profits has led us to the loony “Dark Shadows,” the lifeless “Frankenweenie,” the eye-roll-inducing “Big Eyes” and his latest, the forgettable kids flick “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”
Based on the Ransom Riggs novel of the same name, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” follows lonely 16-year-old Jake (Asa Butterfield), whose world is pitched into a spin when his grandfather (Terrence Stamp) dies under mysterious circumstances. Sure, the police say his grandpa was killed by wild dogs roaming quiet Florida suburbs, specifically the kind of wild dogs that tear down screen doors, ransack houses, rip up fences as if they were tissue paper, then kill their victim by eating his “soft parts,” meaning the eyes. Understandably, Jake’s not satisfied with that explanation. Seeking what really happened to his grandfather, he follows clues to a remote Welsh village, where the teen time-travels to meet the film’s titular governess and her selection of strange wards, who all possess incredible powers.