Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children is an unusual little film about a young boy named Jacob (Asa Butterfield), who’s Grandpa Abraham (Terence Stamp) tells him all kinds of adventures from when he was young. After Abraham passes away, Jacob is sent on an adventure to meet these people his grandfather met as a boy. It turns out that these strange people Abraham knew are actually children, who live in a time loop from 1943 and perpetually live the same day over again. The children are led by one Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), a rather odd woman who is very strict but loving towards the children.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children fits Tim Burton’s creepy art style very nicely. The sets in the film are kept visually interesting and the imagination of the story is able to come to life with the help of Burton. But like many Burton films, where he makes up for in style, he lacks in substance.
The one major problem I had with Miss Peregrine is that it’s often times very confusing. There is so much lore and so many different rules crammed in for the audience to know that the film trips itself up. It may even be severe enough to effect some viewers’ enjoyment, which is a real shame.
Not having read the book that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is based on, I may be at some kind of disadvantage for understanding the content. However, that is no excuse for the film to be incoherent. Because if full grown adults are completely lost on what is happening and why, how do the filmmakers expect the target audience to understand it?
Now, I’m not sure how accurate Miss Peregrine is to the source material, but on its own merit, it’s an interesting film. When things aren’t confusing, the lore is actually really cool to learn. I like how Jacob hops from his world in 2016 to 1943. I liked the design of the monsters, which look kind of like big slender mans. And I like the “peculiarities” of the children, as well as the technicalities of the time loop.
The characters in Miss Peregrine are done pretty well and the actors are just fine. Sam Jackson as the villain was pretty over the top and entertaining to watch too. There are only a few characters, like Jacob’s dad, who really got on my nerves.
It came to a surprise to me just how dark this film is. On multiple occasions you see peoples’ eyes get sucked out of their sockets, leaving black empty space where the once were. You even see the corpse of a child talk, which even creeped me out. I don’t advise taking young children to see it, because watching a dead child talk will quite literally scare the piss out of them.
The ending to Miss Peregrine is one of the most rushed endings to a movie I’ve seen in a long time. The filmmakers seemed like they quickly threw it together and wanted to be done with it. I was both shocked and confused at how much was crammed into the last five minutes. After the movie slowly built up all the events throughout the plot, everything comes to a rushed halt. The only reason I can see someone liking this ending is if they were already bored and wanted out fast. As for me, I was very interested in the story and highly disappointed to see it abruptly end.
The ending itself is still sweet, and the protagonist story arch ends in a way that audiences will be satisfied with. It’s just very distastefully rushed.
If you’re someone who needs a consistently coherent story in a movie, this definitely isn’t your movie. If you like dark young adult films that are visually interesting and are willing to suspend your disbelief, I’d recommend giving Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a watch. There are plenty of elements and ideas going on in Miss Peregrine for many people to enjoy.