Thoughts on “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
Tim Burton is best known for his quirky on off-beat style films that relish in the peculiarity of the execution of the story being told. That Burton touch is not lost here, but is toned down in a way that feels altered but not tampered with.
After events that shape Jakes life – he’s taken to a psychiatrist – who, by Jakes great plan suggest he try to find the orphanage, the one his grandfather supposedly stayed at as a child to fully realise its legitimacy, to essentially try and move on – get closure.
The film includes weird and wonderful, creative strokes of fun. The films central portrait is that of the home for peculiar children, run by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) a delightfully cheery and on-the-mark guardian for children more abnormal than the rest of society in 1943. That which he would stumble across after reaching the location that the home is located.
Jake (Asa Butterfield) stumbles upon a secret entrance which found after tall tails told by his grandfather Abe (Terrence Stamp) paints a picture of another world, a world that for Jakes mom and dad disprove – with no evidence the opinion of Abe is shrouded in its uncertainty.
The film takes form of Jakes discovery of the peculiar house, to uncover his own powers, to find if that he himself is peculiar – something hinted at via possible love interest, Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell) – she’s given the most attention out of the peculiars. This focus is the anchor to why he should stay, his life in 2016 doesn’t look tempting to return too which is somewhat of a cliche as love interests always fall into a category of being the premise for the main lead rather than for her own personality.
The various peculiarities give definition and attention to each of the children, although like any ensemble the main characters achieve maximum coverage. Given the nature of the story focusing on the cooperation, this detail doesn’t deter any sense of value in the minor presence they have on screen – something that in others seems to be picked apart – but shouldn’t be too much of a negative here.
The idea is that they all use their peculiarities as connecting strengths that they’re all a part of the puzzle, that each of them can provide assistance using their abilities. Their peculiarities present themselves as showcases for the main character Jake to project to the audience that their particular skill is displayed. A quick and friendly bonding session with the children instantly connects their lives together, that they’re apart of each other.
To oppose them is Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) leader of the ‘child-friendly’ monsters, the Hollowgasts, Hollows for short – are the creepiest 12A/PG-13 monster ever created. A lot like Slenderman, less Jack Skellington. Very well monitored in their evolution and backstory which doesn’t hold back, giving you the full amount of transformation and disfigurement without being scared to cut away.
The narrative concentrates on the fun and the fantastical rather than forcing any logical reasoning, which is a contrast to other films that try to define what it’s doing is fact. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children builds a world that could easily form more stories in the future, but only time will tell if it would become a repetitious loop, or something else entirely.