Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a 2016 movie based on a novel published in 2011 about a young boy who discovers a peculiar family secret after the passing of his beloved grandfather. The novel is currently part of a trilogy.
I had never read the novels, however I did order the first in the series before seeing the film. I wanted to read the book first, but I was running out of time to see it in my local theater and I went on the last night it was playing. I had never even heard of this book, but once I heard the film was being directed by Tim Burton I was totally on board. I have been a fan of Tim Burton since I was just a child; everything he touches turns to gold, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was no exception.
Burton was absolutely the right choice to bring characters like this to life, especially the Hollowgasts. The word “hollowgasts” is without a doubt a play on the Holocaust. Jacob’s father tells him that his grandfather has dementia, and the “monsters” he fought, were Nazis; which really makes you feel for the grandfather because he wanted so badly for Jacob to believe him, but any rational person would think he was nuts. As a whole, the story really reminded of Big Fish, another piece of magic directed by Tim Burton and based on a novel by Daniel Wallace. The story was beautiful, whimsical and sad, and the characters were so lovable. The film was visually stunning. Interestingly enough, Tim Burton wanted to use visual effects as little as possible – which in this case, seems pretty impossible to avoid. I really loved the way they used colour and warmth (or lack of) of the scenery to depict the passing of time and the destruction of the war. The cast was fantastic and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these faces popped up in future Tim Burton films, that’s kind of the way he works. I didn’t even know that Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janey and Samuel L Jackson were a part of the cast until I saw the movie. It also featured Burton alumni Eva Green as Miss Peregrine. The music was so well done and perfectly accentuated every moment, although I was surprised it wasn’t done by Danny Elfman. I also noticed that for the credits they used the same font as the cover of the novel which I thought was a nice touch. It teaches us a great lesson too – to embrace our peculiarities and let them be our strengths.
I don’t really have a lot of “in detail” thoughts about the film because I haven’t read the books. I thought it was really good, and I give it a 4/5 rating. I can only hope that I am still able to use my imagination while reading to book to create my own images of the scenery and characters, instead of just imaging the scenes from the movie as I read the book. If you’ve read the book already, I would love to hear your thoughts on the visuals of it, if you feel it’s accurate.
The one thing that kind of bothered me about the film was that his parents just kind of…weren’t a “thing” after a certain point. Like, how the hell does that work? What happens to them in the end? Guess I need to read the novels…