From Novel to Film: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

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Megan Tran, Santa Fe Staff Writer

With Halloween just around the corner, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is just the movie to experience the creepy atmosphere of the holiday. The movie involves the story of a boy called Jacob (Asa Butterfield) who, following the death of his grandfather, Abe (Terrence Stamp), follows clues that take him to a magical place inhabited my Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) known as “Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.”

The movie, directed by Tim Burton, was based on the novel “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” written by Ransom Riggs. Due to the creepy, intriguing images of the “peculiar” children within the book, Burton was inspired to make a movie capturing all of the dark and gothic elements of the novel.

The overall story of “Miss Peregrine” is interesting enough to catch the viewer’s attention, but it is obvious that the director attempted to condense too much information from the book into two hours worth of content. As a result, the movie had a feeling of being rushed and disjointed.

As a film on its own, “Miss Peregrine” does not convey its magical world in a way that is comprehensible to one that has not read the novel. The average viewer will understand the basics of the peculiarity of the children, but the characters’ backstories and histories are thrown sloppily in the movie without proper explanation.

However, one positive element of the movie is the theme that alludes the children in Miss Peregrine’s home to the Jewish children during World War II. Abe tells Jacob the story of his childhood growing up in Poland and “seeing monsters.” As a peculiar child in a “monster-ridden” Europe, he had to go into hiding with other peculiar children to stay safe.

The adult themes that were touched on in this movie were developed well but they would have turned out even better if Burton had gone further with these themes and deeper into the characters’ specific lives.

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is a movie that had the potential to create an eerie world full of extraordinarily strange and somewhat disturbing characters. However, due to poor pacing and unsuccessful storytelling, the film unfortunately fell flat.

It would be more beneficial to read the original novel and experience the details of the story in its entirety rather than watching this movie and being potentially confused and disappointed.

 

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