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Mace and Crown | May 20, 2018

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Falls Short

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Falls Short
Alyssa Branch
Contributing Writer


“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is based on the novel by Ransom Riggs and introduces all sorts of intriguing characters, a beautiful home and monstrous,  Slenderman-like creatures. This promising story wavers through excitement and confusion.

After his grandfather’s mysterious death, Jake (Asa Butterfield) finds himself on an island searching for a glorified children’s home. Miss Peregrine (Eva Green)  and her peculiar children live beyond a time traveling cave in the 1940s. Threatened by the lurid monsters, they must abandon the home and fight for their lives.

The film had  tremendous potential  but somehow got lost in the process. What could have been an  introduction to this fantastical world became  a sporadic story, leaving the characters and the attraction behind. The disorder and underdevelopment of characters stand  out as the most disappointing elements in this film.

Director Tim Burton’s eminent imagination is expressed in a few ways: the wonderful CGI stop-motion moment, the little girl with monstrous jaws on the back of her head and the battle scene between the skeleton and hollow.  Unfortunately, the story gradually loses its excitement and becomes  inconsistent.

The film’s biggest issue is its  lack of character depth. The entire movie could have been solely focused on the home and the  strange kids. However,  they are rushed and given insufficient screen time . The most interesting peculiars are the ones least shown . There are twins that  can turn people into  stone, a little girl with immense strength, a boy with bees living inside of him  and many more.

There are quite a few children in this home with extraordinary  abilities, but they are defined by their peculiarities in this movie. They all appear happy and perfectly fine with reliving the same day over and over again. Emma (Ella Purnell) hints at  the expected sadness that results from  being detached from the outside world  but doesn’t go beyond that.

Butterfield had  a phenomenal performance , but  his character, Jake, simply lacks any defining qualities as a character. He’s  a very boring protagonist who seems to ask  questions during  most of the movie, until the end when  he suddenly understands everything and leads the fight against the monsters and the man pulling the strings.

Green is magnificent in her portrayal of the serious and proper, extremely clever and loving Miss Peregrine. The lack of a backstory and screen time, however, ultimately render Green as wasted potential for the film.

The driving force of evil  in the  story seems a bit silly . Samuel L. Jackson plays a madman  that  has transformed himself and his friends into horrific monsters called hollows. In order  to return to their normal self,  they are forced to eat peculiar children’s eyeballs. The story presents itself in a confusing and strange fashion, and the characters don’t seem as menacing as they should have been.

Overall, the movie wasn’t bad, but had much wasted potential. The trailers effectively  created  excitement for this new world, but the movie didn’t  live up to the expectations. There’s  so much information crammed  into this story that, while at times it may be mystical and exciting , it becomes overwhelming and hard to follow for the most part . “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is as easy to love as it is to hate.