Movie Review: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” – Weird

Written by Caitlin Cooper October 17, 2016

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

‘Tis the season for pumpkins and turkey, candy and creepy movies. ‘Tis the season of Tim Burton. So this month’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, directed by Burton, seems like a great choice for a trip to the movies. The trailer promises oddities and monsters with enough creepiness and Burton’s trademark visuals to entertain any Burton fan and draw in audiences of the beloved book by Ransom Riggs on which the film is based. While the film certainly has its moments, I wasn’t blown away by it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of Jake (Asa Butterfield) who grew up with fantastic stories of strange children. He stopped believing, but he remained a loner. When his Grandpa’s (Terence Stamp) life is threatened by someone not quite human, he begins to believe again. He follows the clues and stumbles upon Miss Peregrine’s (Eva Green) home and the children under her care who all have some odd ability. While it seems like a safe haven for children who are different, Jake soon learns that danger lurks in the shadows. Monsters have been after these gifted kids throughout time and will stop at nothing to get them. It’s up to Jake, who discovers there was a reason his Grandpa told him these stories, to save them all.

“If I show you the rest you have to promise not to run away.”

At its heart, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is really a coming-of-age tale. Jake has spent his life as an outcast because of his belief in the stories his Grandpa told him. He used to believe in the stories about a place where children with unique abilities thrive but it only led to people judging him. After his Grandpa’s mysterious death, Jake sees some letter written by the one and only Miss Peregrine and he begins to question whether the stories are true after all. His parents think he’s become unstable after his Grandpa’s death, but to give him some closure his dad takes him on a trip to the island. I find it a little difficult to believe that a family would just spontaneously travel to a small island in the U.K., though. Once there, Jake finds people who accept him as he is and who come to rely upon him. It helps him have better self esteem and he helps them grow too. Aside from the fact that these children’s lives are in danger, the film manages to infuse some comedy too. Some of the jokes are probably more geared towards kids, but most of the time they work. But the writing is quite messy at times, a little all over the place and has one-dimensional characters, which detracts from the high points of the film.

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

While the Alice in Wonderland films have over-the-top visuals, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has great visuals. The visuals fit the tone and story of the film and add to it rather than detract from it. The visuals are dark and whimsical and sometimes creepy. The only real low point is one of the fight scenes near the end which veers more toward silly and seems more targeted to children. But the monsters in the film are actually quite creepy which makes the film seem that much more dark.

“You don’t have to make us feel safe, because you’ve made us feel brave.”

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has a cast full of big names whether they be in big or small roles. Eva Green as Miss Peregrine, Samuel L. Jackson as the villain, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench, and Terence Stamp to name a few. It’s a shame some of the big names only have fleeting roles because they’re so talented. But the focus of the film is on the kids, not the adults. Even so, Green does well as the somber and serious Miss Peregrine. Asa Butterfield seems well cast as the lead. Ella Purnell plays Emma Bloom, Jake’s love interest. It’s just a shame the character is pretty limited to “love interest”, though.

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is this month’s answer for an alternative to traditional horror flicks. It’s an odd, creepy film with a touch of comedy. The visuals are great and suit the story and tone perfectly with only one instance of cheesiness. The cast is packed with big name and fresh faces that make this oddly charming and creepy film memorable. Unfortunately, the story is a little messy and sometimes unfocused, with characters that aren’t really fleshed out. It’s pitched as this amazing experience but never quite manages to get there.

My Rating: 5.5/10

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children


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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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