This week, you will have the chance to give your money to a person and they will show you Tim Burton’s latest movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (which is based on a 2011 book by Ransom Riggs), as long as you arrive at the predetermined time. Samuel L. Jackson (Attack of the Clones) leads a band of monsters who want to eat the eyeballs of a group of children who all have a wide swath of powers that range from “cool” to “I’m not sure I see the point of that.” Should you see Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children? If you do, will you want to eat your own eyeballs? Ahead, we answer every question you could possibly have about Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
Q. Who is Miss Peregrine?
A: Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) is a “Peculiar” who is in charge of a group of children who all live in a house on an island off the coast of Wales.
Q: What is a “Peculiar”?
A: A Peculiar is person who was born with a special power, but is scorned by society, so they tend to live amongst each other.
Q: Oh, I see. So it’s like the X-Men? Fun.
A: Well, sort of. The Peculiars seem to have powers that are a little more esoteric than what you might find in your average X-Men member.
Q: Is there a Peculiar who has laser beam eyes?
A: No, Scott Summers is not a Peculiar.
Q: Is there a Peculiar with awesome adamantium claws?
A: No, but there is a Peculiar who can grow a very large carrot. Another Peculiar will float away if she doesn’t wear weighted boots.
Q: Hm, that doesn’t seem like the best superpower.
A: Again, these aren’t superpowers, they are Peculiars who live in 1943.
Q: Wait, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is set in 1943?
A: Well, sort of. You see, Miss Peregrine has two powers. One, she can turn into a bird. The second, she can “loop” time, allowing these children to live in the same day every day.
Q: Quick question about all this: Is being able to turn into a bird and the ability to loop time at all related? These seem like two very distinct and completely different powers.
A: If these powers are related at all, the movie never explains how they are related.
Q: Why do these children live in a time loop?
A: Because at the end of the day, Nazis bomb their house. So Miss Peregrine loops time right before the bomb hits so they can live the last 24 hours before the bomb over and over.
Q: Are the children conscious they are living the same day over and over?
A: Oh yes. They don’t age, but they realize they live in a never-ending loop for eternity.
Q: Can they just leave the loop? And continue living in 1943. You know, leave the house before the bomb hits?
A: Yes. And some do: like Abe (Terrence Stamp), who went on to live in Florida and birth a son (Chris O’Dowd), who is not a Peculiar, and a grandson, Jake (Asa Butterfield), who is a Peculiar.
Q: So Jake just lives in Florida with no problems?
A: Other than being picked on at school (you see, these type of powers are never given to the popular kids) Jake lives a normal life. But after Abe is mysteriously killed by a creature called a Hollow, Jake’s life is now in danger and he must find Miss Peregrine. Since he’s a Peculiar, Jake can enter the loop.
Q: What is a Hollow?
A: A Hollow is a monster the hunts Peculiars. It wants to eat Abe’s eyeballs.
A: A Hollow is a former human (led by a hamming, yet somehow not very fun Samuel L. Jackson) who can regain his or her human form if he or she eats enough Peculiar eyeballs.
Q: This can’t be true.
A: There is literally a scene of Hollows sitting around a dinner table, eating eyeballs.
Q: Will I want to remove my own eyeballs after watching Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children?
A: Probably not, but you might think about it a couple of times. But Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is more frustrating than anything else.
Q: How is it frustrating?
A: When a pair of skeletons from dead animals start fighting each other for sport — with one eventually winning by thrusting a sword through the other’s heart, then displaying it in the air for everyone to see — there are glimpses of the old Tim Burton on display. But, for the most part, I had to remind myself this really was a Tim Burton movie as opposed to someone else trying to make a Tim Burton movie.
Q: Why are dead animals fighting each other for sport?
A: I guess the characters think it’s fun.
Q: But why is this happening?
A: That’s one of the Peculiar’s powers.
Q: One of the Peculiars can animate dead bodies?
Q: And he’s a bad guy, right?
A: No. He’s a good guy.
Q: Okay, but this movie has a great cast, right? That’s something?
A: That’s another thing: Here, we have a movie with Samuel L. Jackson as the villain, but he seems oddly reserved. Here’s a movie with Chris O’Dowd, but he’s not funny (and doing an American accent). And here’s a movie with Judi Dench who maybe has five minutes of screen time. Even Eva Green, who I basically love in anything, seems a bit more restrained than normal and literally spends the last act of this movie as a bird.
Q: She doesn’t come back to human form?
A: I know a few things in life. One of them is if you cast Eva Green as the title character in your movie, she shouldn’t spend the last third of it in the form of a bird.
Q: What’s the most obvious comparison you could make to Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children?
A: That it’s like a poor man’s Harry Potter meets the X-Men, only with not-as-fun powers. A lot of people will make this comparison and it’s not wrong.
Q: If you’re going to be blurbed on the poster for Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, what do you think it will look like?
Mike Ryan lives in New York City and has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.