By Elizabeth Bock
Illustration by Angelica Navarro
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children dazzled audiences with Director Tim Burton’s trademark dark imagination and intricate character costumes. Although the movie strays from Ransom Riggs’s original novel, the film’s changes actually help to bring the book to life on the big screen.
The story follows Jake (Asa Butterfield), a young boy who craves something different from his generic life with his parents. On a trip to a remote Welsh Island, Jake gets more than he bargained for when he is suddenly swept back in time. He finds himself in a magical world surrounded by children with special powers known as “peculiars.” When invisible monsters threaten his newfound companions, Jake is the only one with the right peculiarity to save the day.
Viewers will be amazed by the brilliant hair, makeup and costuming, especially with emphasized with Miss Peregrine’s bird-like appearance. Brilliant winged eyeliner, pointed hair, and crisp mannerisms from actor Eva Green bring new depth to the movie’s title character. Even the smaller roles are given outfits that accentuate their personality and showcase their peculiarity. The picturesque Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) also captures the terrifying appearance of the monsters as described in the book.
While the look of the movie is great, book fanatics will be disappointed with some changes from the novel. The “peculiarities” of the two main female roles are completely switched, ultimately resulting in the creation of an entirely different character and inspiring a romance not intended by Riggs. There is an utterly new conclusion that alienates viewers not only by straying from the source material, but also by killing off any hopes for future sequels.
Miss Peregrine’s modified characters and ending may turn some hardcore fans away, but the adaptations ultimately strengthened the movie and allowed the screenwriters to put a new spin on the plot. Riggs’ creepy pictures from his book form dark images in the reader’s mind, which is a perfect match for Burton’s iconic, eerie vibe. The author’s successful plot and characters combined with classic Burton makeup and imagery ultimately makes the film more refreshing than simply recreating the novel on screen.