Jacob is a normal kid, and he’s kind of tired of it. He’s stuck living in a small town in Florida, stocking the shelves in a grocery store. The only bit of excitement he ever got was when his Grandfather, Abe, used to tell him stories about how he used to fight monsters and his friends, a strange bunch of kids living at a children’s home for people with powers. Jacob is sixteen now, and he doesn’t believe the whimsical tales anymore. Grandpa Abe is disappointed, but continues to have an undying faith in his grandson. However, Jacob’s life takes a crazy turn when his Grandpa gets hurt by a mysterious presence, which he claims to be a monster. What does dying Grandpa Abe do? Request that Jacob goes to the home he told him about. Things get even weirder when Jacob sees something looming in the woods behind him in his Grandpa. Of course, he must be crazy right? The monsters from the stories don’t exist! Don’t they?
Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a strange story. Based on the book by author Ransom Riggs, it tells the edgy and slightly creepy story of a bunch of children that can do the most incredible things. I wrote a review on the book a few months ago, and if you’d like to read it, click here.
The movie was directed by the visionary Tim Burton, the king of peculiar and funky movies. You might recognize the titles of some of his other films like Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the recent Alice in Wonderland series. When I first heard the wacky director was going to be steering the Miss. Peregrine film, I was happy. He was the perfect fit for the story. Still, part of me was worried. Most people can agree that Tim Burton’s latest endeavors haven’t been the best, so I was fearful that they’d ruin the story that I love so much. Lucky for, he didn’t.
The storyline in the movie was similar to the book. Jacob bands up with the peculiar kids to save the day, but how Tim approached it was different. He made some of the kids older in the book, most noticeably Enoch. I loved Enoch in the book, and I loved his power (or peculiarity as the movie calls them.) When they first introduced him, I was like “noooooo” but as the film progressed, I decided it was a very tasteful decision on Tim Burton’s part. Olive got older, and she switched her powers with Emma. Emma could float, making Olive have pyrokinetic abilities. The first half of the film was exactly like the book, except for the changes mentioned above. However, the second half went completely off track. It wasn’t bad. It was interesting and the changes made sense . . . It was just different from the book.
As far as the acting goes, it was pretty good. Eva Greene played Miss. Peregrine, the wicked cool and crazy Mary Poppins like figure with a crossbow. Yeah, she was awesome. Asa Butterfield played Jacob, and he was okay. Asa is generally a good actor, but I have seen stronger performances on his part. Ella Purnell was a sweetheart, and I loved her as Emma. The biggest qualm I have acting-wise concerns the main villain (whose name I shall not spoil!) who was played by Samuel L. Jackson. I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Samuel L. Jackson is awesome, but he wasn’t right for the part. They needed an actor that could have channeled more creepiness, someone like Johnny Depp.
Should you go see Miss. Peregrine? I think so! Personally, I like creepy and strange movies that Tim Burton creates, but not everyone does. I wouldn’t take a younger kid because some scenes can be scary due to the inherent strangeness of the story. If you don’t like Tim Burton style stuff, maybe it isn’t for you . . . Still, I’d check it out, but maybe that’s because I loved the book.
Critics are saying that if this movie saga continues, it could be the next big teen franchise out there, following others like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games (though I think there is a slim chance that it’ll be as commercially successful as Harry Potter.)
Anyhoo, check it out one rainy Saturday (we’ve been having a lot of those in MA lately.)
Thanks for reading! And stay peculiar! Being peculiar is something to be proud of. ❤