Written by Makayla Williams, Staff Writer
It’s almost as if Ransom Riggs wrote Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with the hopes that Tim Burton would adapt it for film someday, and why not?
Burton’s oddball filmmaking sensibilities perfectly fit the world that Riggs crafted in his 2011 YA novel; a book that takes creepy photography and pairs it with a fantastical tale centering around Florida teen Jacob and his discovery of an orphanage that housed supernatural children.
In the film, Burton shows that there’s a method to his gothic and even grotesque madness. Style is essential to storytelling for him. Without it, Burton’s oddly engrossing imagination alone can’t arouse viewers’ interest (take Dark Shadows for example). In Miss Peregrine, his style is what sucks the viewer into Jacob’s story. But without great storytelling, viewers won’t even believe that a well-dressed kid can project his dreams onto a wall in spite of it happening in front of them.
On paper, Miss Peregrine and Burton are a perfect match of director and source material. The film’s main plot is the same as the novel’s: teenager Jacob (Asa Butterfield) suddenly discovers Miss Peregrine’s home (Eva Green) and her peculiar children, but he ends up on a villain’s (Samuel L. Jackson) radar as well. At best, the film is a visual feast for the eyes and a delightful mashup of Burton’s past work and the super-heroics of the X-Men franchise. Look out for a fight sequence between the kids and some nasty CGI creatures.
At worst, it’s a reminder that not every YA book will translate to the big screen very well. At least not without some heavy editing. As a result, the audience ends up watching a Tim Burton-directed re-enactment of the first novel.
Photo source: Fox Movies