Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: Film Review

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I wasn’t THAT bothered about seeing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children because it looked a bit too weird for my liking and because Tim Burton‘s most recent efforts, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Big Eyes were simply OK, but I was completely wrong – this turned out to be one of his strongest projects in years.

Asa Butterfield stars as Jake, an American teenager who takes a trip to Wales with his dad (Chris O’Dowd) to visit an orphanage his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) told him all about before he died at the hands of a monster, which only Jake could see. In the modern day, the orphanage has been left in ruins from a World War II bombing, but he is discovered by peculiars such as Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), who controls air, invisible boy Millard (Cameron King) and Olive (Lauren McCrostie), who can start fires. They enter a ‘loop’ where it is always 3 September 1943 and the orphanage is in one piece and run by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can control time and turn into a bird.

It’s not all rosy because they are being hunted by The Wights, evil peculiars lead by Mr. Barron (Samuel L. Jackson), who can take the form of others and control the monsters known as Hollows, which pop out their victims’ eyes – this is something you see onscreen, which I wasn’t expecting! It is a 12A but parents should be warned it’s pretty damn scary and quite gross. I would have been terrified if I was still a kid, for sure.

The film looks beautiful and I loved meeting all the weird and wonderful characters through Jake’s eyes. Butterfield is incredibly likable, Green is stunning, with an air of class and authority and I fully believed she could be a bird. The biggest revelation was Purnell, who was the emotional heart of the movie. The only negative casting was O’Dowd because I was baffled by what accent he was trying to pull off.

It was just fun (and scary) to watch and completely engrossing. It ruins for over two hours but I had no idea at all. It does get a bit confusing when they start moving loops and I had no idea if it made sense, but I’m gonna go with it. There is a lot of humour, which is hardly surprising since Jane Goldman, the writer behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service, wrote the adaptation of Ransom Riggs‘ young adult novel.  There is also a good mix of horror, emotion, action, and sentimentality and it boasts some impressive CGI moments such as Green turning into a bird, the showdown on Blackpool Pier and Emma sucking the water out of a sunken ship. Great family fun.

In cinemas now 

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