Abe Portman (Terence Stamp) tells his grandson Jake (Asa Butterfield) about his adventures battling monsters and living at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on Cairnholm, an island off the coast of Wales. All the children and Miss Peregrine herself (Eva Green) had paranormal abilities. She could transform into a Peregrine Falcon and manipulate the flow of Time, and Abe himself can see the invisible Hollows monsters. One day, Jake finds Abe dying with his eyes missing, and Abe tells him to go to the Loop of September 3, 1943.
Jake obtains advice from psychiatrist Doctor Nancy Golan (Allison Janney), and travels to Cairnholm with his father Frank (Chris O’Dowd) to investigate the home. He learns that it was destroyed in a Luftwaffe raid during World War II. But Jake finds some Peculiar Children there. They take him through a time portal to the year 1943, before the house was damaged. Miss Peregrine greets him and says she belongs to the Ymbrynes, who can transform into birds and travel in time. To avoid persecution, they hide the house in a time-loop, accessible only to the Peculiars. They live the 3rd of September 1943 over and over again as long as they stay there.
Jake is introduced to the children, including Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), who is aerokinetic, whom he finds very attractive. Jake learns that he is Peculiar like his grandfather and can see the huge Hollowghasts or Hollows. They were scientists who killed an Ymbryne in an ill-advised experiment to gain her powers and are led by the shape-shifting Mister Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) as they try to hunt down Peculiars and steal their eyes to recover human form.
A wounded Ymbryne named Esmeralda Avocet (Judy Dench) arrives and tells of Barron assaulting her in 2016 in Blackpool, killing her children. Miss Peregrine is ready to move when Jake tells her a Hollow may have killed some sheep on the island. Jake returns to 2016 and finds an elderly man killed by a Hollow, then returns to the home. An ornithologist (Rupert Everett) follows him, who is actually Mister Barron in disguise.
He had tried to obtain the location of the home from Abe, but Mister Malthus (Robert Milton Wallace) killed Abe before he could do so. Using Jake as a hostage, Barron forces Miss Peregrine to trap herself in bird form and takes her to Blackpool, leaving the children behind as prey for Malthus. Malthus kills Miss Avocet, but Jake and the children escape the house during the Luftwaffe raid, which kills Malthus. Without Miss Peregrine, they cannot escape from 1943, but raising and salvaging a sunken ocean-liner, they travel to Blackpool and enter the 2016 loop there.
They battle the Wights and Hollows in the street and rescue Miss Peregrine and other captive Ymbrynes. Barron disguises himself as Jake to confuse the children, but Jake is able to see the last Hollow approaching. The Hollow kills Barron and is in turned killed by Jake. Before the time-loop can close, Jake says goodbye to the children. They are returned to 1943 and he stays in 2016 to return to Florida, where he finds Abe returned to life again. Abe gives him a map of time-loops and he reunites with the children, particularly Emma.
The film was directed by Tim Burton and written by Jane Goldman, based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs. It received mixed reviews--Tim Burton’s direction and the visuals praised, but the plot criticized. It was called both gruesome and darkly funny. The score was by Mike Higham because Danny Elfman was busy with Alice Through the Looking Glass. The house was an actual house called Nottebohm in Antwerp, Belgium. Ransom Riggs used her flea-market collection of otherworldly vintage photographs in the book and showed them to Tim Burton. Scenes outside the loop are blue-tinted and inside the loop are in full color. The fighting skeletons are a tip of Tim Burton’s hat to Jason and the Argonauts. Miss Peregrine’s phonograph revolves backwards. Coleen Atwood designed the costumes for Burton for the 11th time. When Jake searches for time-loops, one of them is the Circle K Ranch in California, from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
The children use their powers to defeat the Wights and Hollows in some great fight scenes. Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell) can manipulate air, breathe underwater, and must wear lead shoes to keep from floating away. Enoch O’Connor (Finlay MacMillan) can reanimate the dead and bring inanimate objects to life. Olive Abroholos Elephant (Lauren McCrostie) has to wear special gloves or everything she touches will burst into flame. Millard Nullins (voice and motion-capture of Cameron King) is invisible. Bronwyn Bruntley (Pixie Davis) has superhuman strength. Fiona Frauenfeld (Georgia Pemberton) can control plants. Hugh Ariston (Milo Parker) has bees living in his body. Claire Densmore (Raffiiella Chapman) has a mouth in the back of her head. Horace Somnusson (Hayden Keeler-Stone) can project his dreams through a monocle. The Twins (Joseph and Thomas Odwell) turn anyone who sees them into stone.