Film Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Release date: 30th September 2016
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Allison Janney, Judi Dench, Chris O’Dowd
Runtime: 127 minutes
Genre: Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Watched in: 2D
Rating: 4/5 stars
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is based on the novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. I only read the book a few weeks ago (you can see my review here) so went in with the conscious effort in mind that I should sit and enjoy it and not make comparisons to the book the whole way through.
After his grandfather’s horrific death, Jake travels to an island off the coast of Wales which is home to the children’s home his grandfather stayed in for a time during the war. Unexpectedly, he finds Miss Peregrine and the children with ‘peculiar’ powers still there, but monsters are looking for them and Jake’s ‘peculiarity’ is key to keeping them alive.
Although I wasn’t surprised to find that Tim Burton directing the film (the book is, well, a tad peculiar) I was a little apprehensive. However, I was glad to find that it wasn’t too Tim Burton-esque and kept with the tone of the book (although there was a tad more humour in the film). As far as adaptation goes, it kept relatively well to the story with only a large chunk at the end being completely added in.
What irritated me, and which I just don’t understand, is why they messed with Emma’s character. She’s the main female character (besides Miss Peregrine), and in the book her peculiarity is controlling fire, and she has a rather fiery personality to match it. In the film however, Emma’s peculiarity is levitation/air, which is Olive’s peculiarity in the book, and Olive has control over fire. I understand that when adapting books there will always be changes in terms of plot, in order to adapt it to the screen, but I just really don’t get why they did this. It seems a completely unnecessary massive change to make.
Overall I enjoyed the film and it was a good adaptation. It had the same quirky feel as the book, which is what I liked about it. It’s a shame they messed with the characters.