By Vanessa Chen || Contributing Writer
For a movie with the word “peculiar” in its title, the movie is anything but. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is directed by Tim Burton, and adapted by screenwriter Jane Goldman from Ransom Rigg’s novel of the same name. The movie is about an awkward teenage boy named Jacob (Asa Butterfield), whose beloved grandpa (Terrance Stamp) died in a freak incident. His death leads to a series of events that bring Jacob back in time, to where his grandpa grew up with children possessing special powers.
The film’s exposition took a mind numbing 30 minutes, playing out every overused trope. There is the death of the father figure (in this case the grandpa), the protagonist seeing the monster and being deemed mentally ill, and the secrets that should be revealed earlier but are held back to protect the protagonist (which never turn out to be that juicy anyway.) One of the most cringe worthy moments (there are many more) comes when the dying grandpa utters “I thought I could protect you, I should’ve told you this years ago…” and then dies. Come on, you can do better than this!
After the exposition, the movie gets a little more interesting. Watch as our awkward teenage protagonist struggles, grows, saves everybody, while also falling in love with his grandpa’s beautiful old flame (Ella Purnell.) Because nothing turns on a teenage boy more than a grandma-age girl who thought he was his grandpa?
The movie can be seen as a not-so-subtle allegory for the holocaust. The majority of the movie takes place in World War 2 Wales, where the house of the peculiar children is both under attack by Nazi air raids, and monsters literally named—the Holowcast (shorten as Holow in the movie). A bit too on the nose in my opinion, but at least everyone got the idea. The call for diversity and acceptance is worthy of praise, even if all the actors are white except Samuel L. Jackson.
The movie has been on since September 30th, and is still in theaters if anyone wants to see it. It will be a nice reminder in the light of the recent election result, that even sweet children who are just a bit peculiar, can occasionally turn murderous and savagely massacre those poor, poor Holowcast monsters.
Sophomore Vanessa Chen is a contributing writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.