by Shaelyn Saraceni
A stimulating Tim Burton twist on the original Ransom Riggs book “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children” will give you chills and thrills.
Ransom Riggs is the author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. However, this book is only the first in the series Riggs penned called Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, which includes Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City, and Library of Souls in that order. Though there are differences between the book and film, that is to be expected with any adaption. On his website, Ransom Riggs states that “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has sold millions of copies, been translated into 40 languages, and has spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list.”
Tim Burton is well known for his films. He brings an eerie uniqueness to his style that is unreplicable. For example, this is exhibited in some of his most popular films: Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, and Beetlejuice. Experiencing the combined creative and creepy styles of Ransom Riggs and Tim Burton was intoxicating.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children commences with the young Jake (played by English actor Asa Butterfield who starred in Hugo as Hugo) witnessing the strange death of his much beloved grandfather (played by actor Terence Stamp who starred as Chancellor Valorum in Star Wars Episode 1). Jake's father (played by Chris O'Dowd) and mother (played by Kim Dickens) think he is delusional since he claims that a giant, terrifying creature killed his grandfather. Jake starts seeing a psychiatrist for these “delusions,” and the psychiatrist recommends that Jake take a vacation to the island his grandfather always used to talk about. Jake’s grandfather used to tell him stories about the special children who lived on the island, and how they had powers which made it necessary for them to hide away from people. Jake’s father thought it could be a good idea as well, so he and Jake went to the island. Jake went exploring for the house where the children stayed, but it had been bombed back in the war. This made Jake believe his grandfather (whose name was Abe) was crazy, until he saw some of the children. They took him into a time loop- a day in time that resets every 24 hours to protect those who live in it from the outside world and from aging- and introduced him to Abe’s friend who he always spoke of: Miss Peregrine (played by French actress Eva Green). Miss Peregrine was put in charge of protecting the lot of peculiar children by creating the time loop. A love is kindled between Jake and the peculiar child, Emma (played by actress Ella Purnell) who can control air. Jake tells Emma about the creature he thought he saw kill his grandfather, and she takes him to a place in the time loop where the creature appears every day. Only Abe could see what the creatures looked like, and Jake inherited that peculiarity, so he was able to see the creature that was invisible to everyone else. The creatures were created by a crazy scientist referred to as Baron (played by the famous actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson) who turned himself and others into these creatures trying to obtain immortality. The creatures realized they could take the form of humans again by eating peculiar children’s eyes, so Baron and his colleagues search out the peculiars. Jake has to protect the children since Baron finds their time loop and captures Miss Peregrine, and Jake is the only one who can see the creatures. Jake and the children devise an elaborate scheme that, of course, results in an epic battle scene on the Boardwalk. The children win, but Jake leaves because with the creatures defeated in a time loop earlier than when his grandfather died, his grandfather never had the chance to be killed by the now nonexistent creatures (AUTHOR NOTE: I had a hard time wrapping my brain around this “scientific” concept). Jake tells his grandfather about the whole adventure, and Abe suggests he goes and finds Emma again. Abe gives Jake some money to travel back to the time loop where his peculiar friends live, and they squeeze in that romantic kiss scene at the end.
This film had vibrant colors, amazing CGI effects, and a fantastic plot. It accumulated 245.2 million USD in the box office, and received praise from many critics including The New York Times. Though it will not be in theaters much longer, look out for it on DVD and Blu-ray this December 13th. It will be available on Amazon and at Best Buy for purchase after that date. If you love Tim Burton, this is easily a must see that will go on my favorites list.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
“Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children DVD Release Date December 13, 2016.”DVDs Release Dates, Peter Chernin, 30 Sept. 2016, www.dvdsreleasedates.com/movies/6452/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children-2016.html.
Riggs, Ransom. “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.” Ransom Riggs, www.ransomriggs.com/miss_peregrine.php.
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