Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: A Review


20th Century Fox

Josh Kirsch, Contributor

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was a summer read here at GHS and is a popular movie now playing in theaters. The fantasy book is the story of a teenage boy who investigates the murder of his grandfather and his mysterious past. The grandfather, Abe Portman, fled Poland before the Nazis arrived in 1939. Abe was just a boy and he was given refuge on an island near Wales. That’s where it gets interesting. The Headmistress, Miss Alma Peregrine, has supernatural powers. She can shape-shift into a Peregrine falcon. Her job as an “ymbryne” is to locate, gather, and protect peculiar kids. The peculiars are persecuted for being different. They live in time loops; the same day is repeated every 24 hours. This helps them avert catastrophe. The loop is “reset” before disaster strikes.

The movie follows most of the book’s plot. Jacob, the main character who, as a young boy, was fascinated by his grandfather’s bizarre stories about Miss Peregrine and the children she harbored. Each child had a unique gift or trait. Now a teenager, Jacob is haunted by his grandfather’s death and last words. These words, and some old photographs, lead him and his father to Cairnholm Island. Jacob perseveres to solve the mysteries of his grandfather’s unusual past and goes through life-changing events himself.

I thought the movie was so-so. It took a while to draw me in, unlike the book, which is very well written. One part I enjoyed in the movie was when one of the children, Enoch, brought his creepy and disturbing dolls to life. The special effects were well-crafted. My only regrets were the departure from the book’s plot, and the lack of frightening scenes. It wasn’t as gruesome as I’d hoped it would be. Young adults would enjoy this movie. Most of the characters, although stuck in time, are forever living as adolescents. One GHS student said, “It was totally worth seeing”.