I am officially too old. Some of my earliest memories of film watching came from the films of Tim Burton, and I’m not just talking Batman either; Pee-Wee, Beetlejuice, hell, even Ed Wood.
Over time directors evolve their style to include new themes or visions for the stories they want to tell. Burton though has a style so distinct that within seconds you can tell its one of his films. Shit, even the Danny Elfman score is a dead giveaway.
But the Tim Burton of my youth has been gone for quite sometime;I would pin it to Planet of the Apes probably. It didn’t look or feel like a Burton movie (and it sucked). I would honestly say that his 2012 Frankenweenie, and maybe Sweeney Todd are the closest he’s come back to his old turf, Sleepy Hollow being the last one where is just oozed Burton’s style.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is so shocking because on a visual level, this is the old Tim Burton but with a lot more CGI. He’s back to his old tropes: The outcast from society, the neglectful parents, the old mentor, the ruins of a forgotten home, and even the blonde female (think Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow). The story and plot don’t matter much, which is classic Burton.
I know I haven’t discussed the plot at all, because it really doesn’t fucking matter. The focus here is on the visuals, because that’s how Burton expresses himself. Since the characters are distinct, its almost like Beetlejuice in all of it crazy images. I saw Samuel L. Jackson eat eye balls. I’ve seen it! Don’t call me a liar!
Overall, its actually a great film to get kids into horror without traumatizing them too badly, and for the generation that grew up with the films of Tim Burton its a great trip down memory lane.