In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Asa Butterfield, left, and Ella Purnell appear in a scene from, "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children." 

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Asa Butterfield, left, and Ella Purnell appear in a scene from, "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children." 

Jay Maidment/20th Century Fox via AP

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a weird movie.

I don't just mean "weird" in that there's an invisible boy, a girl with a mouth in the back of her head, a woman that turns into a bird or a man who shape shifts into other people. And I'm not just referring to the weirdness that is intrinsic to all Tim Burton movies, made clear by occasionally unsettling visuals. I'm not even talking about how weird it is to hear Chris O'Dowd (of the I.T. Crowd fame) speak with an American accent.

No, what's weird is that for as much as this adaptation nails many aspects of the book it's based on, it makes so many changes that die-hard fans might walk away annoyed — or at least perplexed.

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Peculiar Children primarily follows Jake (Asa Butterfield), a teenager who seems to be, by all accounts, perfectly ordinary. That changes (because of course it does. We're talking about a young adult fantasy novel, after all) when his grandfather is mysteriously murdered and Jake has to start wondering if the monsters in Poland his grandfather talked about weren't just the Nazis, as his unbelieving father implied, but real, deadly creatures.

Before long he meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and her group of the titular peculiar children — kids who, through a mutation in their genes, have a range of interesting traits and powers. Olive, for example, sets fire to everything she touches. Emma floats (requiring her to wear special lead shoes if she wants to remain earthbound). Bronwyn is a little girl that's stronger than any grown man on the planet. Hugh has bees living inside of him.

Not unusual enough? Well, the children also happen to be hiding out in a time loop, reliving the same day in 1940 over and over again, resetting each night just as their orphanage is destroyed by a German air raid. They remember each day (though they don't age), but the people in the neighboring town do not.

Yeah, they're a bit like the X-Men. Only weirder. And their powers aren't always as useful.

There's a lot of enjoyment to be gained in spectacle alone, as the children's peculiarities lend themselves to situations that are both interesting and (occasionally) humorous. There is a wonderful atmosphere to the film as well, which leans into the mixed aesthetics of World War II-era apparel with the occasional appearance of 2016 technology.

The film never quite nails the unique photographic hook of the book, though. Author Ransom Riggs developed most of the Peculiar Children plot on his imaginative takes of vernacular photographs he had collected over the years, many of which are included in the book. It's one of the most immediately striking aspects of the book series, but while the movie does include photographs as part of its plot, there is still something lost in translation.

Fans of the book series might also have noticed something strange in those earlier character descriptions, though. In the books, Emma is the peculiar with fire hands, while Olive (who also seems younger in the novel version) is the one who floats. Why did the screenwriters make the power swap? Your guess is as good as mine.

Another major change: The movie's primary villain, a man named Barron (Samuel L. Jackson), is completely new. Interestingly, the movie uses Barron to take the Peculiar Children story into an interesting direction: the origin of the series' monsters.

That origin story, as it turns out, is surprisingly gruesome for a movie that will be potentially marketed to younger audiences. It's not the most terrifying thing they'll ever see, but if you have any aversions to your children seeing some unpleasant sights, shield their eyes — before a monster eats them. Peculiar Children earns its PG-13 rating on creepiness alone.

It all culminates in something else the book handled very differently: a fight scene in which most of the children combine their powers in order to defeat a dangerous enemy in a populated amusement park. While most of the changes from the source material will probably be met with mixed reactions, this scene does make for engaging popcorn action.

As it turns out, the best way to enjoy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children might be to skip the book that it's based on.

That said, it's still got the right mix of fantasy, mystery, action and even romance that tends to make for a winning combo in young adult cinema. It may not be the next Hunger Games-esque blockbuster franchise, but it's an enjoyable ride through time and peculiarity.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (B)

Directed by Tim Burton. PG-13 (for intense sequences of fantasy action/violence and peril). 127 minutes. In wide release.

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