Film Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a wonderfully whimsical film. There is a darker edge to the film that balances perfectly with the more fanciful elements.

Growing up in Florida, Jake’s grandfather told him stories of the magical children’s home he lived in as a boy. Jake decides to visit the home, on an island off the coast of Wales, hoping to find the mysterious inhabitants…

Director Tim Burton’s quiet renaissance seems to be gathering steam with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. The director’s last film, Big Eyes, was refreshing in that it felt like a departure from the formulaic productions it succeeded. Here, Burton returns to fantasy; a genre that has served him well. Whilst there are definite Burtonesque touches, particularly in the visual elements, Miss Peregrine feels much more original than some of the director’s output in the last decade.

Based on the novel by Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine is a fantasy adventure. The film has sufficient whimsy in its characters and narrative to satisfy a family audience. Yet there is a definite dark undertone to the film, which becomes more prevalent as it continues. The horror is mild for the most part, although some sequences may be frightening for the very young or squeamish. The tone of the film excels; there is a good balance between wonder and terror. Moreover, the film never becomes mawkish.

The narrative of Miss Peregrine moves along at a suitable pace. The main characters are introduced well, and are given enough depth for the audience to feel invested. Jane Goldman’s screenplay is peppered with her trademark style of humour. Art direction and costumes are fantastic, with the imagery capturing the style of the book’s photographs. The score is a great accompaniment. Asa Butterfield makes a decent protagonist as Jake, whilst Eva Green is well cast as the title character. Samuel L. Jackson seems to be having fun in his role.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children harks back to a golden era of Tim Burton films. Those looking for this brand of fantasy adventure will not be disappointed.