Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is one of my favourite books: it was the first book that ever scared me and not many have joined that rank since then. Naturally, when I heard that a film was being made, I was wary. When I heard that Tim Burton was making the film, I was even more wary. A film that Burton directs is “a Tim Burton film” whereas Miss Peregrine is utterly unique. Fortunately the film respected that.
After getting over Asa Butterfield’s occasionally shaky American accent, I found myself completely immersed in the world that had been created.
The film tells the story of Jacob, a Floridian boy, who seeks out a group of children with peculiar abilities after his grandfather is killed. His grandfather was once one of those children and was murdered by a monster whose kind hunts peculiar children. Jacob goes to learn the truth about his grandfather and ends up being drawn into their world and also their problems.
My protective instinct in regards to this story had me scrutinising the casting choices right from the trailer but I take back any negative thought that crossed my mind. Every single character in this movie was wonderful: with a mixture of big names (Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench) and newcomers (Ella Purnell, Finlay MacMillan), there is a very real sense of chemistry and they make the unbelievable seem real.
Not to give all of the credit to the actors, the special effects in this film were also first class. Whilst they weren’t necessarily hyper-realistic, they had that Tim Burton feel about them. They felt magic – like childhood. A particular favourite of mine was a scene in which a skeleton army wages war on Blackpool pier.
Going back to the book, this film deviates from the plot in a lot of ways but in no way that really matters. It was smart for them to gloss over the fact that the protagonist’s love interest used to date his grandfather and the new ending was beautiful.
The book is the first in a trilogy but I hope that this is a stand-alone film: not because it wasn’t fantastic, but because it’s fantastic on it’s own. The ending works perfectly well as a finishing point but it also has the potential of opening up new stories – only time will tell.
Have you seen Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children? What did you think? What did you love? What did you hate? Let me know in the comments.