The first thing you need to know about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is that yes, it’s based on a book, so at least pretend like you knew that before. The majority of people we spoke to who were excited to see the film had no clue of its literary beginning. Ransom Riggs’ young adult supernatural novel interweaves spooky black and white photographs throughout the pages, from which he creates the peculiar characters.
Teenager Jake (Asa Butterfield) travels to a small island off the coast of Wales in search of closure after the strange death of his beloved grandfather (Terence Stamp). In particular, Jake is searching for the source material of bedtime stories told to him by his grandfather as a young boy: an elusive children’s home, a woman who could turn into a bird, an invisible boy and a girl who could fly. Jake finds more than he bargained for, when Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) who can turn into a bird, all the children with strange abilities and the home itself turn out to be real, very much alive and living in a continuous time loop for safety. Judi Dench, Rupert Everett and Chris O’Dowd make up the adult supporting cast, while Samuel L. Jackson gives us his best PG-rated villain.
Directed by visionary legend Tim Burton, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children captures his quirky artistic essence, complete with elongated, grinning monsters torn right from the pages of Burton’s sketchbooks. Visually stunning, the film sadly lacks the vibrancy of Burton’s previous films and appears washed out and dull in parts.
While not intended for young children, it does send a good message to all those watching – even us older sceptical viewers: it’s OK to be different.