Partial marks on this one: I read half the book before the movie came out. Would have finished it too, if there hadn’t been a hold on it at the library. Curse you, faceless library patron!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children introduces us to the world of children with special powers and the creatures in the dark who want to harm them. Is it peculiarly awesome or just plain peculiar? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this trailer? Asa Butterfield of Ender’s Game stars as Jake Portman, Eva Green of Casino Royale is the titular Miss Peregrine, Samuel L. Jackson of Kingsman: Secret Service plays Barron, and Ella Purnell as Emma Bloom. Other actors include Judi Dench of the James Bond films and Terence Stamp of Wanted.
The director is Tim Burton, and no one does peculiar like him. Sometimes he gets lost in his own weirdness, but when he focuses on story, he can create something truly magical.
The trailer opens with Emma telling Jake she has to show him something, “but you have to promise not to run away.” No problem, but what’s so–OH MY GOSH IT’S A HOUSE! PEACE OUT! She gets him to tie her up, and then she unbuckles her platform shoes and soars up to put a squirrel back in its nest. “What’s happening?” Jake asks. A girl’s floating in the air, Jake. I should have thought it was obvious.
Emma’s not the only one with peculiar powers. In addition to Miss Peregrine the headmistress, there are several other children, including one invisible boy and a pair of twins fighting over a teddy. Miss Peregrine rips the bear in half, proving that Solomon’s “split the baby” tactic works better than we thought. There’s even a girl with a sharp-toothed mouth in the back of her head. So you can eat people sneaking up on you, I guess. Add a girl who controls plant growth and Emma’s wind machine lungs, and you’ve got quite the mix of superpowered kids.
To keep the kids safe, Miss Peregrine has squirreled the house away inside a time loop, living the same day over and over again. Do they wake up listening to Sonny and Cher? In any case, the day ends with Nazi bombs dropping on the place and all the kids wearing gas masks and presumably asking “Are you my mummy?”
Miss Peregrine informs Jake that he has his own peculiarity, showing him a book called A Peculiar History. A guarantee you the only kid who’s read that is Hermione Granger. Jake argues that he’s ordinary, but let’s face it, what protagonist in YA Lit is ever ordinary? Jake is the Chosen One, born to protect the kids from Hollows, creatures who hunt peculiar people for their powers and who occasionally look like Samuel L. Jackson on bad drugs. “I assure you, we are coming,” Barron tells Jake. We’re just making sure we all go before we leave, though. We might be a while.
Emma blow-dries the cabin of a sunken ship, Barron turns his hand into an axe, and an army of skeletons attacks an amusement pier. Emma tells Jake he has “the chance to do something that changes everything.” Right after you shoot that tentacle-mouthed Tim Burton sketch. Part of the house blows up, the kids arm themselves, and Jake promises Miss Peregrine he’ll look after the kids. Then Miss Peregrine turns into a falcon and flies off, and boy, are her arms going to be tired after the flight.
“My dad said everything had already been discovered,” Jake says, to which Miss Peregrine replies, “Not everything.” Not the things that don’t exist, although I’ve heard Phineas and Ferb are already on that. And the trailer ends with the kids raising that sunken ship from the depths. Call me crazy, but if you’re trying to sail somewhere, that might not be the most seaworthy craft you could have picked.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend the movie? Yes, yes I do. It’s got plenty of imagination and a good story behind it, plus plenty of beautiful visuals and classic Tim Burton style without getting carried away with itself. Throw in some talented actors and you’ve got a perfectly entertaining film. It may be a little too intense for kids, but for teens on up, I’d say check it out. I plan to.
My peculiarity is the ability to chug an entire bottle of water in a minute, in case anyone’s wondering.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is owned by 20th Century Fox.