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Visit "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children"

Writer: Casey Chong


A scene from "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children".

Dark, weird, quirky and eccentric... those are some of the few words that best describe the work of Tim Burton throughout his illustrious career as a filmmaker.

The same can thankfully still be said for the upcoming "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children", where Burton joins forces with "X-Men: First Class" and "Kingsman: The Secret Service" screenwriter Jane Goldman to bring Ransom Riggs' unconventional novel to life.

Despite Burton's erratic career trajectory these days, it's always interesting to see him invest his time in giving life to a dark fantasy like "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children", but in case you're wondering what makes Burton's upcoming movie a really peculiar one worth watching, here are our thoughts below:

1. This is Tim Burton's territory

Although Tim Burton has spent his career venturing into different genres from superhero ("Batman" and "Batman Returns"), to science fiction ("Mars Attacks!"), biopic ("Ed Wood") and comedy ("Pee-wee's Big Adventure"), he remains primarily known for his eccentric and dark fantasy movies. Among them are "Beetlejuice", "Edward Scissorhands" and to a certain extent, "Alice In Wonderland" where the 3D live-action remake made over US$1 billion at the worldwide box office. After taking a brief detour directing the biographical drama of American artist Margaret Keane in "Big Eyes" last year, Burton returns to the very genre that he's truly good at... dark fantasy. His latest movie, "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" seems like a perfect fit. Adapted from the 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs, the story contains every essential element that Burton loves to explore; the quirky characters, the otherworldly weird premise in all things fantastical and of course, his favourite gothic theme.

2. It's Tim Burton meets "X-Men"

Have you seen the trailer that was released in March? Did the footage remind you of a certain Hollywood blockbuster? If you answered "X-Men", you are definitely right. After all, this movie revolves around a universe where Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children looks fundamentally similar to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters as seen in the "X-Men" movies. If that's not enough, the strange characters ranging from the headmistress Alma LeFay Peregrine (Eva Green) to the peculiar children with special powers such as the aerokinetic Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell) and the pyrokinetic Olive Abroholos Elephanta (Lauren McCrostie), are almost akin to the mutants from "X-Men". Now, imagine this mutant story done in Tim Burton's trademark quirky style and you got yourself "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children".

3. Eva Green as Miss Peregrine herself

Eva Green is no stranger to both horror and fantasy, having previously collaborated with Tim Burton in "Dark Shadows" and also appearing as a series regular on TV's "Penny Dreadful". In "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children", Tim Burton worked with Green again by casting her in the lead as none other than Alma La Fay Peregrine, the school's headmistress who supervises the peculiar children. Not only does she look the part with her all-black getup, her character turns out to be more than just a woman of authority, as she possesses a form of peculiarity where she can turn herself into a bird known as a peregrine. She also has the special ability to create and control a time loop.

4. The Peculiar Children

Now, Eva Green's Alma La Fay Peregrine is not the only one who has all the peculiarities. The movie also features the children with different kinds of abilities. For instance, Jacob Portman (played by Asa Butterfield of "Hugo" and "Ender's Game") is the main male protagonist who is able to see Hollowgasts, which actually refers to the evil creatures who consumes everything, including the peculiars as well. Other fascinating characters to look out for include Claire Densmore (Raffiella Chapman), an adorable golden-haired little girl who has a mouth at the back of the head. She uses it to consume food. This can be seen in the trailer, which is admittedly bizarre. But true to the Tim Burton style, this is totally expected. Then, there is Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell) who possesses the ability to levitate herself in the air and she can even control the weather. Olive Abroholos Elephanta (Lauren McCrostie), in the meantime, can create and control fire at her will.

5. The Hollowgasts and the Wights

As mentioned earlier, the Hollowgasts are a type of evil creatures that consumes everything, including the peculiars. They are the antagonists in "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children". At the same time, the movie also introduces the Wights. A Wight looks like a normal human being, except that they have no pupil or iris in their otherwise pure white eyes. They are also a part of a Hollowgast which hunts and eat peculiars. To add a little more zest to the already intimidating antagonists featured in "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children", screenwriter Jane Goldman and director Tim Burton took one step further by creating a whole new character specially for the movie itself. Played by Samuel L. Jackson, he is the leader of the Wights who is simply known as Mr. Barron.

"Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children" opens in cinemas nationwide on 29 September 2016.

Cinema Online, 27 September 2016

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (29 Sep 2016)
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