Friday, October 7, 2016

Quick Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Walter Chaw is correct here in his one-star review, that points out the small Burton-esque side-details are much more intriguing than the centerpieces of the movie.

I'd add that the first half of the movie is generally weird and interesting in a way you usually don't get from YA novels. Florida is shot in a banal, over-saturated way that gives it a whole hyperreal aesthetic reminiscent of the Prequel Trilogy, but also mumblecore classics like American Beauty and Garden State. The main parent is fundamentally broken in a way that isn't cliche or dismissive. And the first few appearances of Eva Green's Miss Peregrine are very disturbing in an overly-possessive mother type way: she will plan every minute of your life every day, to keep you young and innocent forever, and is dismissive of any part of her personality that does not relate to raising children. It's creepy and the whole thing comes together make it seriously questionable whether the protagonist Jake should or would want to stay in this fantasyland.

But then the bad guys show up and everything is off to YA cliche-dom. Of especially disappointing note is that there is a scene (in a Tim Burton movie) where: a skeleton army fights eldritch monsters in an amusement park, and it is drab and unexciting, completely lacking in the phantasmic horror you would expect.

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