Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Intrigues Audiences

Maggie Cebuhar, Reporter

The once lively, Victorian-architectural children’s home’s burnt and abandoned remains stretch to the overcast sky. Jake tumbles out of the mushy ground from the damp island town’s tall, unkempt lands to see the home that his beloved grandfather once occupied.

Halloween is just around the corner, and to welcome us is another Tim Burton soon-to-be classic movie. With the typical goth aesthetic, eery music, and ‘outsider’ protagonist, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has similarities to Burton’s many other applauded motion-pictures.

Jake, the lonely protagonist, is saddened by the recent death of his beloved grandfather. Misunderstood by his parents, he claims to see things, “monsters,” when he knows they aren’t really there. His psychiatrist and parents agree that a trip to the island where the home’s remains are located will improve his mental health by giving him closure. Jake knew his grandpa and knows there has to be a reason for him seeing these unspeakable monsters, so he insists on seeing the house and speaking to Miss Peregrine, the caregiver of the home, for an explanation.

Jake is right in that this children’s home was never ordinary, and still isn’t. Believed to have burned down from a Nazi bomb in World War II, the home barely stands in present time, 2016, when he arrives. Jake stumbles upon children he recognized from his grandpa’s bedtime stories. They take him through what they call a “loop” to come see their home for what it really is; standing tall like the bomb never happened, and suddenly Jake really believes all the stories his grandpa had told him.

Jake then meets Miss Peregrine, who tells him that they live in a safe bubble of the same 24 hours of September 3, 1940, for that’s what peculiars have to do to stay safe from the evil peculiars. Also, the children don’t get older. All of the characters of his bedtime stories, his grandpa’s old friends, all had “peculiarities” such as super strength, starting fire by touch, invisibility, and the ability to float and fly. Jake gets close to the Addams Family-like household of children and their caretaker as he fits in just like grandpa once did.

With the intense, quick climax and introduction of the peculiar children, the falling action takes up the rest of the movie, including Jake falling for his grandpa’s once lover. The iconic theme of “everything is not how it seems” is portrayed as Jake travels back and forth through the time loop. He also finds how he himself is peculiar, as was his grandpa while alive- the peculiarity of seeing monsters. The home comes under attack of the villains, as expected from the get-go, and Jake is needed more than ever by the peculiars for protection. His new peculiar family sees how special and needed he truly is when everyone his whole life hasn’t given him a second thought.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, while somewhat predictable, has a nice easy story to follow along to, dark details to interest, and definitely makes the audience wish they had a special “peculiarity” so they could go to this fun home with a story behind every door.