We could not wait to see the movie adaptation of Ransom Riggs book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, directed by our favourite film director, Tim Burton!
With Tim directing and fact that we had loved the book (You can read our review of it here) we had high hopes for this one.
Now we read many books, normally we choose them when we hear they are to be filmed by an actor/director we like, although we had read this one prior to that, when a review described it as being ‘very much in the style of Tim Burton’, so we were thrilled when he was announced as director.
The thing with all books is that they include more detail that could potentially make the film 6 hours long, so we are always welcome to change, if it benefits the film, unless it is completely different.
For example, The Running Man short by Stephen King is nothing like the Arnold Schwarzengger movie but is a fun eighties action film.
Peregrine’s movie has numerous changes, none more so than a completely different ending and swapping the peculiarities of Emma & Olive
So knowing all of that, how was the film you ask?
Jane Goldman (Stardust; The Woman in Black & X-Men: First Class) has done a great job of adapting Ransom Riggs book for the big screen, with much of the book still represented.
We follow Jake (Asa Butterfield) who loves his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) but has slowly drifted apart, as the stories he was told by him, he now believes were all lies.
When Abe suddenly calls for Jake’s help, he reluctantly goes and arrives to find he has been murdered, by what he thought was a monster!
Jake has been discussing all the stories he was told and the monster to his psychiatrist, Dr. Golan (Allison Janney)
She suggests that Jake’s father, Franklin (Chris O’Dowd) take Jake to the island in Wales, to visit the school from the stories that Abe would tell off!
When Jake finds the school, he finds it had been bombed during the war, so he is now sure Abe’s stories are works of fiction, until he meets Emma (Ella Purnell)
She explains that she knew Abe, as a young soldier, and she lives the same day, September 3rd 1940, should she go beyond that day for any amount of time, she would age fast and die!
Emma takes her to Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), and learns that the stories Abe told him were true, the children all do have peculiarities, from controlling fire; lifting heavy weights; being about to float; Control bees; be invisible and bring things to life using hearts!
Even Miss Peregrine herself has the power to change into a bird, but it is also her who is able to reset the day they live repeatedly, as we find out if she didn’t, they would all indeed be killed when a bomb is dropped on the school.
We also learn that Jake himself has a peculiarity too, like his grandfather, he has a skill like no other, he can see Hollows. These being the monster he saw kill his grandfather Abe!
This is a skill much needed for Miss Peregrine as the Hollows are coming for the children, led by Mr. Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) who is a Wight, a creature that kills peculiars for their abilities.
All this leads to Jake, having to make a decision, never see his family again to stay and fight with the peculiars or return home to his father and lead a normal yet dull life!
The film’s new ending is a visual treat, with Tim using special effects, CGI and stop motion animation for a final battle which takes part over Blackpool tower and pier. (Look out for a Tim Cameo too)
The Wights and Hollows are genuinely scary, the film is a visual treat and does the book justice. If we had one fault, we still aren’t sure about Eva as Peregrine, purely as we imagined someone older from the book, we think Helena Bonham Carter, a veteran of Tim’s films may have been better!
However, this really is another great Tim Burton film, the young cast are all great in their roles. The film has elements of Harry Potter and X-Men; Scary characters; Monsters, including a Skeleton Army; A coming of age story; A love story; Action; Horror and SciFi elements of films such as Looper or Groundhog Day!
We are sure we’ll add this to our already extensive collection of Burton Films to rewatch again and again!
Ransom has written 2 further books and it will be interesting to see if we get a sequel, but this definitely has been one of our films of the year!
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is rated 12 and has a run time of 2 hours 7 minutes and is in 3D and 2D formats
You can watch the trailer here:
You can buy the book here:
You can give yourself a peculiarity like we did for Pepper here:
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