Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
October 18, 2016 2:57 PM - Subscribe

When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

Any thoughts on this? Boilermonster and I watched it last night and I think we both found it enjoyable but somewhat forgettable. (Both boilermonster & I enjoy the advantage of never having read any of the books.)

PROS: Eva Green. Great visuals. Interesting world building.

CONS: There was as much telling as showing. There was at least one rather major plot hole and some other little ones. The negative aspects of decades long time loops don't get explored. Samuel L. Jackson played the same role he always does these days, and it didn't really fit into the culture of the rest of the film.

I also found it interesting that the apparent emotional-checked-outed-ness of the main character's parents wasn't explored at all. That seems to be a regular kids-movie trope these days, if the characters aren't actually orphaned.

The highlight of the movie for me was Eva Green. Everytime she was on the screen I was all in.

I'd love to hear other people's reactions to it.
posted by small_ruminant (7 comments total)
We were disappointed. There were some lovely moments but the whole thing didn't quite hang together as well as you'd expect. The big issue for me was that it felt like it had all been done before.

[MINIMALLY SPOILERISH] When character/s revealed their 'peculiarities' near the end of the movie, I wondered why they weren't used earlier to completely eliminate the threat. Well, I know they didn't for reasons of 'plot' and 'we want a movie-length story' but they would have saved a whole lot of bother if they had used them.
posted by prettypretty at 10:43 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

My girlfriend and I had a similar reaction when we watched it. "What, it's a horror movie, but they completely ignored the existential horror of a bunch of people being trapped forever in kid bodies?" Honestly, that part of the story seemed darker and more horrific than most of the actual conflict! Otherwise, lots of plot holes, lots of "oh gee whiz look a special effect!" Lots of "oh, look, it's Samuel L. Jackson doing that weird Samuel L. Jackson thing again."
posted by Alterscape at 7:05 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's been several weeks since I saw this, mostly what I remember now is just a vague feeling of the movie not really conveying enough information for me to get emotionally invested while simultaneously being bogged down in too much world-building exposition. I haven't really liked Burton since Big Fish (though, to be completely honest I think that Ed Wood was his last great movie)...But I'm a Jane Goldman fan, that's what drew me in. So the movie basically met my Burton expectations, but disappointed me as a Goldman fan.

And, I thought the lead actor was terrible. I thought he was alright in Hugo, but here so much line reading fell completely flat to my ears. I first noticed it when he was jokingly calling out to the peregrine falcon flying over their boat on the way to the island. I cringed, and wished for another take or three.
posted by doctornecessiter at 9:45 AM on October 19, 2016

Samuel L. Jackson was completely wasted in this film. He was built up as this big baddie who kills the Peculiars even when he doesn't need to but after he arrives on the scene, he spends all his time letting people go and showing a lot of restraint for somebody who has, according to the story, a history of cold blooded slaughter.

Also, were the Hologasts supposed to look like the Slender Man?
posted by I-baLL at 8:06 AM on October 20, 2016

This movie triggered some pretty strong emotions in me because of my own relationship with my (now-dead) grandparents and that's the story I loved best. Would you choose a girl you loved or a grandfather who accepted you, if you had to choose between the two, right at the peak of adolescence? A lot of people will argue this point, probably, but I know from academic research that many men fall in love on sight. It's A Thing and hormones are crazy. So, I don't know. He chose rightly and won both, but that's the fairytale, isn't it?

The movie wasn't really pushing that arc as the true main story, but that's the one I felt.

Hologasts yes, very spoopy/creepypasta. More of them and rando cartoon people (not Samuel Jackson, he detracts from the cartoonishness in a way that only actors of his caliber can, like Russell Crowe and DeNiro... there's no "disappearing into the role" for these guys, even with heavy prosthetics on). More monsters eating eyeballs and less jealous teen drama crap for no reason, please, especially regarding the little ones like the twins and the girl with the neck-mouth who are clearly even more horribly trapped in the loop than the older kids are -- remember all those times you saw/read something like The Vampire Lestat and KNEW instantly why it was forbidden to turn/immortalize a child?

At least they addressed it in that brief and truly unsettling scene with Victor. Holy shit, hard pass on eternal "half-life" in the daily loop, even though Miss Peregrine was obviously the Peculiar superglue holding their lives in stasis and her stern, yet charming presence made it somehow bearable for the lot of them. If I were a fanfic writer, I'd totally have Mr Robot's Whiterose and Miss Peregrine have afternoon tea and cigars together (or brandy, really -- ladies choice). I'd watch the hell out of that, please and thanks.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:23 PM on October 20, 2016

We need to find a way to allow stories that make no sense at all, something like not requiring rigorous logic in poetry. Finally saw this and I think it is quite fantastic in a phantasmagorical metaphorical sense, it brought me back to Edward Scissorhands, another film that made absolutely no logical sense, but emotional sense deeply on many levels. I think starting in a somewhat real world of Florida did it a disservice, that transition to magic rather than beginning with images that immediately (like Edward) broke a bit of filmic cognitive dissonance over the viewers head. I do think if Jake had been a bit younger and Emma a bit older with a seeming impossible crush on an older girl the ending with him aging up a bit would have been more satisfying. And it would not have hurt at all for Miss Green to be in more scenes. And the father really should have seen the magical world for just a moment, long enough to know what he would miss, a much better ending would have been for the father to be out birdwatching and see a falcon in the far distance.
posted by sammyo at 5:48 PM on November 30, 2016

My second grader, during the scene where the Hollowghasts first attack the school:

"Why don't they just throw baby powder on them so they can see them?"

My second grader, near the end, after it is revealed what powers the twins have:

"Why didn't they just tell everybody at the school to close their eyes, unmask, and kill these monsters the first time?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:27 AM on December 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

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