by Alexandra Libertella
I’m a huge fan of Tim Burton’s work, idolizing Edward Scissorhands since I was a kid. This movie did not live up to my expectations, however. It was an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ book of the same name. Shot in usual Tim Burton style, creepy, washed out colors, odd camera angles, the movie fell short of having a full plot.
The whole film was very confusing, and right after I watched it I could not have told you what the plot was. The cast consists of “peculiars,” children that have odd powers, who live with Miss Peregrine in a home on an island off Wales. Miss Peregrine watches over and takes care of them, like a mother bird, and she literally is a bird when she shapeshifts into one. One peculiar girl controls air, and needs to wear lead shoes to stay on the ground. Another girl has a mouth on the back of her head. One has the power of fire built into her hands. There are two twin- inhuman looking boys- who don’t really do much until the end. A boy has the power to bring life back into anything dead, by inserting a beating heart into it. In the sanctuary, they are in a “time loop” and relive the same day in 1943 for eternity. Miss Peregrine has a pocketwatch and waits for the same time to work her magic and start over. The time resets right when the bombs were dropped from Nazi planes. This didn’t seem to fit in well with the rest of the plot, nor was it explained deeply enough.
The main character, Jake, lives in Florida. His grandfather died in an unknown seemingly unreal way, and Jake recalls what he would tell him when he was younger. He would show Jake photos of the peculiar children. His grandfather actually lived in the home when he was younger and was the only peculiar to leave there. This inspires Jake to travel to the island in search of the home. He finds it and stays with the children.
The villains in this movie are “hollows,” huge creatures that are invisible to all the peculiars except Jake, who conveniently is able to see them. They also eat eyeballs. There are several close encounters with the hollows, and every day Miss Peregrine needs to shoot one that accesses their land. However, since she cannot see it, she needs to make sure that she shoots at the exact same time every day to kill it. Then, in a weird, rushed, plot-hole filled turn of events, there is an epic battle scene between the peculiars and the hollows. The end.
In all honesty, I am still unsure of what the movie was actually about. But, Burton’s eerie visuals and beautiful artistry made the movie a lot more likeable. Clocking in at just over two hours long, it dragged on a bit too much for me. Overall, I did not enjoy Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.