Tim Burton makes yet another plea for the wonders of weird kids. I get it, Tim – you were pale and interesting and people teased you.
Eva Green is the pipe-smoking head of a school for odd kids – twins in sack cloth masks, a girl who can command air, an invisible boy, one who makes puppet with real hearts, a boy inside whom bees live. They exist in a time-warp gothic house on a Welsh island which Asa Butterfield is sent to find as part of his Grandfather’s (Terence Stamp) dying wish.
Monsters are after the kids and their special “loop”, which means it’s always the same day every day.
It’s complicated. And boy does the script, by Jane Goldman, know it. An osteopath is needed to untie all the knots and loops this film gets itself into…it must about manages it, with a climax at Blackpool that involves Samuel L Jackson fighting some owls.
Bit of a shame that it becomes an unruly mess because I quite liked it – but it never decides if it wants to be funny or charming or scary and while it’s a bit of all those things, it’s simply not quite good enough to sustain attention, indulgence and sympathy over 2 hours.