ⓘ Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (film)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (film)

ⓘ Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children (film)

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children is a 2016 American fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jane Goldman, based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. The film stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris ODowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Filming began in February 2015 in London and the Tampa Bay Area. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, on September 25, 2016, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 30, 2016, by 20th Century Fox. It received mixed reviews and grossed $296 million worldwide against a production budget of $110 million.


1. Plot

Abe Portman has told stories to his grandson Jake about his childhood surviving World War II, battling monsters and living at a secret home for children on the island of Cairnholm, Wales. According to Abe, the homes children and their headmistress Miss Alma Peregrine possess paranormal abilities and are known as "Peculiars". When Jake turns 16, he responds to a phone call from Abe and finds him dying with his eyes removed. Abe tells him to go to "the loop of September 3, 1943". After Abe dies, Jake glimpses a monster, like the ones described in Abes stories, hiding in the forest.

Jakes parents arrange psychiatric check-ups, and following advice from his psychiatrist, Dr. Nancy Golan, and the clue of a letter from Miss Peregrine to Abe, Jake travels to the United Kingdom, where he goes to Wales with his father to investigate the childrens home on Cairnholm, learning that it was destroyed in a Luftwaffe raid. Upon visiting the ruined house, he finds the children there alive and well. They take him through a portal in a cave and he emerges in the year 1943 when the house was still intact. Miss Peregrine greets him and explains that she belongs to a class of all-female Peculiars called "Ymbrynes" who can shapeshift into birds –in her case, a peregrine falcon – and manipulate time. To avoid persecution, she and the children hide from the outside world in a time loop she created, accessible only to Peculiars and set to September 3, 1943. This time loop allows them to live the same day repeatedly and avoid aging as long as they stay inside it.

Jake is introduced to other children, including aerokinetic Emma Bloom, to whom he is attracted. Jake learns that he himself is a Peculiar and, like Abe, has the ability to see the invisible monsters from Abes stories, "Hollowgast" or "Hollows". Hollows are invisible, disfigured rogue Peculiar scientists that resulted from killing an Ymbryne in a failed experiment to become immortal by harvesting her powers. Led by shapeshifter Mr. Barron, they hunt Peculiars to consume their eyeballs, which allows them to become "Wights", Hollows with regained visible human forms, but with milky-white eyes. A wounded Ymbryne named Miss Avocet arrives and explains that Barron and the Hollows and Wights raided her January 2016 time loop at Blackpool, England, killed her children, and are trying to repeat Barrons failed experiment by using more Ymbrynes. Worried, Miss Peregrine decides to move out with her children and Miss Avocet.

Jake returns to 2016 and confirms a Hollow is on the island after another victim is killed, so he returns to the cave to warn his friends, followed by a disguised Barron. Barron catches Jake and reveals that he was about to gain Miss Peregrines loop from Abe, but his hungry Hollow companion Mr. Malthus killed him before he could. Barron then posed as Dr. Golan and encouraged Jake to go to the island so Barron could find the loop. Using Jake as a hostage at the childrens home, Barron forces Miss Peregrine to trap herself in bird form and takes her to Blackpool, leaving Jake, the children, and Miss Avocet as prey for Malthus. Miss Avocet is killed, but Jake and the children escape just as the Luftwaffe bomb is about to destroy the house, killing Malthus. The loop closes, leaving Jake and the children stuck in 1943. Rescuing a sunken ocean liner, they travel to Blackpool and enter its January 2016 loop, fight Barrons Wight and Hollow allies, and rescue Miss Peregrine and other captive Ymbrynes. Barron disguises himself as Jake, hoping to confuse the children who have come to finish him off. When the last remaining Hollow arrives, it mistakenly kills Barron, and is in turn killed by Jake.

Before the time loop closes, Emma tells Jake that because of Miss Peregrines injury in the battle, the children will live in 1943 and that they will handle the Hollows. Jake says goodbye to them as they exit and return to their ship in 1943, while he stays in his present in 2016. He returns to Florida and relates his adventures to his grandfather, who is alive and well, as Barrons death in the beginning of 2016 erased his presence in Florida later on. Abe gives Jake a map of international time loops and money from different countries and urges him to seek out Emma.

After months of searching and traveling, Jake reaches Emma and the children in 1943. Emma and Jake confess their feelings, and start traveling along with Miss Peregrine and the other children, searching for a new home.


2.1. Cast Peculiar adults

  • Eva Green as Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine, the strict but clever and caring Ymbryne headmistress of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children who can transform into a peregrine falcon and manipulate time
  • Terence Stamp as Abe Portman, Jakes grandfather who can see the invisible Hollows
  • Callum Wilson as young Abe
  • Judi Dench as Miss Esmeralda Avocet, the Ymbryne headmistress of another shelter for Peculiar Children in Blackpool. Like Miss Peregrine, Miss Avocet can manipulate time; she can transform into an avocet.

2.2. Cast Peculiar children

  • Asa Butterfield as Jake Portman, a 16-year-old American teenager and Abes grandson. He visits Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children and is given, by Miss Peregrine, the task/promise of protecting the children. Like his grandfather, Jake has the ability to see the invisible Hollows.
  • Butterfield also portrays Mr. Barrons disguise as Jake
  • Nicholas Oteri as 6-year-old Jake
  • Aiden Flowers as 10-year-old Jake
  • Lauren McCrostie as Olive Abroholos Elephanta, a pyrokinetic red-haired teenager and Enochs love interest. She has to wear special black gloves in order to prevent burning everything she touches.
  • Cameron King as the voice and motion-capture of Millard Nullings, an invisible boy
  • Milo Parker as Hugh Apiston, a boy with bees living in his stomach
  • Joseph and Thomas Odwell as the Twins, two masked gorgon-like twin boys who turn anyone who sees them into stone. They normally wear hoods to hide their faces.
  • Louis Davison as Victor Bruntley, Bronwyns late brother who had the same ability as her. He was killed by a hollow infiltrator prior to the events in the film, and was briefly brought back to life by Enoch.
  • Ella Purnell as Emma Bloom, an aerokinetic teenager who can manipulate air and can breathe under water by creating liquid bubbles of air. She is lighter than air and must always wear lead shoes or a tether to keep from floating away. Emma is also Abes former love interest in the 1940s and Jakes current love interest.
  • Finlay MacMillan as Enoch OConnor, a teenager and Olives love interest who can reanimate the dead and bring inanimate objects to life as his living puppets for a limited time by placing a heart inside
  • Raffiella Chapman as Claire Densmore, a young girl with an additional mouth hidden in the back of her head
  • Georgia Pemberton as Fiona Frauenfeld, a young girl who can control and maintain plants including the vegetables in Miss Peregrines garden
  • Hayden Keeler-Stone as Horace Somnusson, a boy who can project his dreams which are sometimes prophetic through a monocle
  • Pixie Davies as Bronwyn Bruntley, a young girl with superhuman strength, Victors sister


2.3. Cast Wights and Hollows

  • Allison Janney as Dr. Nancy Golan, Jakes psychiatrist and one of Mr. Barrons disguised forms
  • Rupert Everett as John Lamont credited as "Ornithologist", an ornithologist and another of Mr. Barrons disguised forms
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Barron, the shapeshifting leader of the Wights and Hollows. Barron and his Wight and Hollow minions hunt Peculiars and devour their eyes to recover human form. Barron also believes by doing this that he is invincible. His shape-shifting peculiarity allows him to disguise himself as another person. When he uses his peculiarity to become a person who doesnt exist, his white eyes dont change, so he has to wear contact lenses. He can also form blades, axes and/or lassos with his own hands.
  • Helen Day as Miss Edwards, a half-simian Wight with a great agility, dexterity and mobility
  • Philip Philmar as Mr. Archer, a Wight
  • Jack Brady as Mr. Clark, a Wight
  • Robert Milton Wallace as Mr. Malthus, a Hollow
  • Scott Handy as Mr. Gleeson, a cryokinetic Wight

2.4. Cast Non-Peculiars

  • Nicholas Amer as Oggie, a blind and elderly present-day resident of Cairnholm
  • Shaun Thomas and Justin Davies as Dylan and Worm, two present-day teenage Welsh residents whom Jake meets in Cairnholm
  • Brooke Jaye Taylor as Judy, Bobbys wife and Jakes other aunt
  • Chris ODowd as Franklin "Frank" Portman, Jakes father and Abes son
  • Ioan Hefin as Kev, the bartender on Cairnholm in the present day
  • Kim Dickens as Maryann Portman credited as "Jakes Mom", Jakes mother and an up-and-coming businesswoman
  • Jennifer Jarackas as Susie Portman, Franks sister and Jakes aunt. She passes Jake her late fathers gift which gives him the way to find Miss Peregrines time loop.
  • George Vricos as Bobby, Judys husband and Jakes uncle
  • O-Lan Jones as Shelly, Jakes drugstore supervisor and co-worker

Director Tim Burton makes a cameo appearance in the film as a visitor at the fun fair in Blackpool who gets a skeleton thrown at him by a Hollow. Glen Mexted, who previously worked with Burton as an extra in both Dark Shadows and the music video for the Killers "Here with Me", also appears in the same scene as a customer eating ice cream.


3. Production

The film rights to the 2011 novel Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs were sold to 20th Century Fox in May of that year. In November, Deadline Hollywood reported that Tim Burton was in talks to direct and would also be involved in selecting a writer. On December 2, Jane Goldman was reportedly hired to adapt the story as a screenplay for the film.

On July 28, 2014, Eva Green was set to play Miss Peregrine in the film; Mischa Barton, Lucy Hale and Alison Sudol were also considered. On September 24, 2014, it was announced that Asa Butterfield was being eyed for the second lead role as Burtons choice, but that at that time he had not yet been offered the role. On November 5, 2014, Ella Purnell was offered a role and was in final talks to join the film; it was also reported that Butterfield had been offered the male lead role, and was the favored choice. On February 6, 2015, Samuel L. Jackson was added to the cast to play Mr. Barron, while Butterfield was confirmed for the second lead role. Terence Stamp, Chris ODowd, Rupert Everett, Kim Dickens, and Judi Dench were announced as being in the cast on March 12, 2015.

Filming was initially set to begin in August 2014 in London. Principal photography on the film began on February 24, 2015 in the Tampa Bay Area. Filming lasted for two weeks in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, in the Florida area. It is the second Tim Burton film to be shot in the Tampa Bay area, the first being Edward Scissorhands, in 1989. Production of the film later moved to Caerhays Castle and Minions in Cornwall, and Blackpool in the United Kingdom, and Brasschaat, a municipality close to Antwerp, Belgium.


4. Music

The films score was composed by Mike Higham and Matthew Margeson. The soundtrack was released on October 11, 2016, by La-La Land Records. Florence and the Machine recorded the films end credits song, "Wish That You Were Here".


5. Release

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children was originally set for a release date of July 31, 2015. The release date moved to March 4, 2016, then again to December 25, 2016, before finally moving to September 30, 2016.


5.1. Release Box office

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children grossed $87.2 million in the United States and Canada and $207.9 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $295.1 million, against a production budget of $110 million.

In the United States and Canada, the film opened alongside Deepwater Horizon and was projected to gross around $25 million from 3.522 theaters in its opening weekend. In total, the film earned $28.9 million during its opening weekend, finishing first at the box office. The opening was on par with Dark Shadows $29.7 million in 2012, Burtons last big budgeted film. Variety called it "a mediocre start" given the films $110 million budget.

It had number one openings in Russia $6.3 million, France $5.3 million, Mexico 3.8 million, Australia $3.1 million, Brazil $2.7 million and the Philippines $1.7 million and the biggest opening for Burton in Malaysia and Indonesia. In South Korea, it debuted at number two with $5.2 million. The film was released in China and Italy in December 2016 and Japan in February 2017.


5.2. Release Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 64% based on 245 reviews, with an average rating of 5.93/10. The websites critical consensus reads, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children proves a suitable match for Tim Burtons distinctive style, even if its on stronger footing as a visual experience than a narrative one." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 57 out of 100 based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.

IGN critic Samatha Ladwig gave the film a 7.2/10, summarizing her review with: "Though there are lingering questions about certain characters by the time the end credits roll, the films striking visuals help compensate for its unemotional and anti-climactic script." Justin Chang of Los Angeles Times wrote "Easily the directors finest work since his masterful 2007 screen adaptation of Sweeney Todd, and a striking reminder of what an unfettered gothic imagination can achieve with the right focus and an infusion of discipline." USA Today s Brian Truitt gave the film 3½ out of 4 and wrote, "After a long run of dystopian YA movies for teen crowds, Burton is just the right guy to make cinema weird again." Calvin Wilson of St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film 3.5 out of 4 and stated, "Burton delivers his most ambitious and engaging film since Sweeney Todd 2007. Although the story becomes increasingly complex as it goes along, the emotional payoff is more than worth it."

Michael OSullivan of The Washington Post gave the film 3 out of 4 and wrote "The very idea of this - at once gruesome and darkly funny - is perfectly suited to Burtons sensibility, which also reveals itself in the casting of Butterfield, who has the quality of a young, slightly less freaky Johnny Depp." The Guardians Jordan Hoffman gave the film 4 out of 5 and said, "We get the playfulness of seeing quirky magic powers mixed with the familiarity of how a time loop plays out. Add in Burtons authorial visual stamp and what weve got is an extremely pleasing formula. It gels as Tim Burtons best non-musical live-action movie for 20 years." James Berardinelli from ReelViews gave the film 3 out of 4 and stated, "Overall, despite feeling a little long and suffering from a rushed ending, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children is a fresh and engaging storybook adventure that should appeal to viewers both inside and out of the core demographic." The New York Times Manohla Dargis gave a positive review, writing: "The story gets awfully busy - you may get lost in 1943 or perhaps closer to the present - but it scarcely matters. Mr. Burtons attention to detail and to the ebb and flow of tone, as well as his sensitive, gentle work particularly with the child actors, make each new turn another occasion for unfettered imagination." Devan Coggan from Entertainment Weekly gave the film "B-" 67/100, with describing the film "The film chooses style over substance, emphasizing how cool the childrens powers are without fleshing them out as full characters. To compete with Burtons best, his heroic weirdos need a little more heart - and the monsters need sharper teeth."

Kyle Smith of the New York Post, Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times and Tom Huddleston of Time Out decried the film. According to Smith, who gave the film 2 stars out of 4: "It may be senseless, but its sumptuous: the picture looks like it cost about a billion bucks, with absolutely every detail giving Burton an excuse to take his mad picture-book mind and let loose, the way Emma the girl full of air keeps soaring away from earthly constraints. Burton may give us a bland hero, a tepid love story and a muddled plot but, hey, at least hes got a skeleton army doing battle with giant tentacle monsters at an amusement park." Roeper, who scored the film 1½ stars out of 4, began his review by writing: "Im wondering if the mutant kids at Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children ever play basketball against their rivals across the pond, Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters. Id watch that. Id certainly rather watch that than Tim Burtons adaptation of the popular childrens book about a school for freakishly gifted children. This is a messy, confusing, uninvolving mishmash of old-school practical effects and CGI battles that feels. off nearly every misstep of the way. Tom Huddleston of Time Out gave the film 2 stars out of 5, writing: "Director Tim Burton likes his films busy: watch a classic like Beetlejuice or Batman, and youll be pushed to find a single frame that isnt packed with background detail, weird creatures, ornate furnishings and intricate costumes. The problem with his new film, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, is that the script is every bit as busy and it can get pretty confusing."