Peculiar Children, Peculiar Film

This week has been absolutely manic – concerts, replacement bus journeys, starting my third and final year of university, and a cinema trip. I was knackered by Thursday, but I recently read the Ransom Riggs book Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, and really wanted to see the film, so I decided to go, despite how tired I was.

In the end, I’m really glad I went to see this film, because I did enjoy myself a lot. Admittedly, there were a few things that annoyed me – mostly to do with changes with character’s, or changing scenes from the book – but when the film is looked at without comparing it to the book, it’s very good.

All the children are suitably creepy, the Hollows are scary, and the universe of the Peculiar’s is incredibly captivating. The all star cast, including of Samuel L Jackson, Asa Butterfield and Judi Dench, are brilliant and compelling. Tim Burton’s directing gives off the right amount of creepiness, which is exactly what this film needed. Something would have been deeply missing if everything didn’t feel slightly wrong and out of place.

Audiences going into this film blind and no prior knowledge will thoroughly enjoy themselves. Fans of the book may leave a bit annoyed, especially if their sticklers for accuracy in adaptions.

Some characters are different ages to their book counterparts, a lot of scenes are taken out (though some of this was for run time, which is understandable), and the final fight against the Hollows is completely different. I can see why the final fight was different, as it gave the more minor characters the opportunity to shine, but to me it still felt a bit jarring. After a few more watches, I’ll probably be able to move past it, but right now I’m not sure whether I’m annoyed by it or not.

On the whole though, Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children is very enjoyable, and highly entertaining. It sticks to the book for the most part, the cast are great, and it has a brilliant mix of creepiness and wonder, which was exactly what I had been expecting. Book changes are jarring, but as a stand alone film, it’s quite solid and stands by itself well enough.