Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children- an interesting movie in search of an audience

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is an interesting movie that, can’t decide who its audience is supposed to be. It is too scary for kids, too childish for adults and not cool enough for teenagers.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children has been marketed as a kids’ movie. However, it received a well deserved PG-13 rating.  It includes completely unnecessary scenes of monsters eating plates full of children’s eyeballs, people having their eyes gouged out and a dead child kept in a bedroom.  These scenes take away from what is otherwise a joyful and magical film.

Eva Green as Miss Peregrine

Eva Green as Miss Peregrine

The overall plot is wonderfully imaginative.  There are certain children (“Peculiars”) who are born with special powers and have to be hidden away for their own protection. Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) protects the kids by keeping them in a time loop. They live in a large English country estate during World War II.

At the end of each day Miss Peregrin re-sets time and the day starts again. In some ways it is a happier sort of  “Groudhog Day”. The children never age, the weather is wonderful, and the outside world does not bother them. The powers of the children are strange and magical. One little girl has super strength. A little boy can project his dreams and show them as movies.

Ella Purnell steals the show

Ella Purnell steals the show

However, there is danger for the children. There are evil adult Peculiars in the outside world who have turned into invisible monsters called Hollows. They search for children’s eyeballs to eat and plot to attack Miss Peregrine’s home and kill the children. They are always looking for an entrance into the time loop.

Asa Butterfield as a young man transported back in time

Asa Butterfield as a young man transported back in time

The cast of the movie is terrific. Eva Green is Miss Peregrine, who has the ability to re-set time and to turn into a falcon. (Hence the name Peregrine). Asa Butterfield  is Jake, a young American who has the ability to see the invisible Hollows.

Ella Purnell steals the show as Emma; a beautiful young woman who is lighter than air and who re-floats a sunken ocean liner. Samuel  L. Jackson is in his element as the evil villain. As always, he brings some fun into his bad guy role. At one point, when  he grabs a kid by the suit jacket he happens to notices what great material the suit is made of.  As he shoves the kid aside he remarks, “Get out of my way. And remind me to get the name of your tailor.”

Samuel L. Jackson a bad guy with class

Samuel L. Jackson a bad guy with class

With some minor changes,  Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children would have been a far better movie. There was no reason to show such gross scenes in this type of movie. We already know that the children in Miss Peregrine’s Home are being protected from the evils of the outside world. Children in the movie-viewing audience do not need to see those  evils in such disgusting detail.  Producers should remember that sometimes kids in the viewing audience need to be protected too.

One thought on “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children- an interesting movie in search of an audience

  1. The book was one of our library’s Middle School Battle of the Books book a couple of years ago. That age group loved it! Many of our teens and adults have read it, too. It’s a hit hear in Beacon, NY. I want to see it. 🙂

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