SF elements: mutant children; time loop
Jake doesn’t believe the fantastic stories his grandfather told him, but when his grandfather is found dead in the forest with his eyes removed, events start making him wonder. He and his father travel to a Welsh island, where they find a house destroyed by bombing during WWII. Then Jake meets the peculiar children living in the undamaged house…
Directed by Tim Burton, this has the expected marvellous grotesqueries, and some excellent set pieces, such as the battle on Blackpool pier, and the underwater scenes. The fantasy aspects are nicely imaginative, but as ever, I found myself wondering too much how the time loop actually works: why do the children have to follow some of the things that happen in the loop but not all? How does Jake keep finding his way back into the right part of the loop? And how does the final resolution actually work, and what do Jake’s parents feel about it?
reviewed 24 August 2019