Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, more horror than fantasy


photo courtesy of screenrant.com

MiJin Cho, Business Manager

Ransom Riggs may have intended for his novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, to turn into a fantasy/adventure movie; however, the film fits more into the broad genre of horror. Movie Director Tim Burton emphasized on the scariness and creepiness in the fantasy novel, published in 2011. When discovering the story for the first time through its movie premiere on Saturday Oct. 1, I found that the element of shock and close-ups to be persistent throughout the plot.

The movie began with the introduction of Ymbrynes and children with peculiarities in the form of old pictures on desks and chairs. The background track not only created a creepy aura but also added tension and anticipation for the rest of the movie. The main character Jacob Portman, played by Asa Butterfield, portrayed a confused yet curious teenager who has the ability to see the invisible hollowgasts. The first scene that shocked the audience was Jacob’s source of trauma when the movie shows a close-up of his grandfather’s missing eyes. The goosebumps grew as the dying man said his last words to Jacob.

As the children in Miss Peregrine’s home are introduced, each showcased his or her peculiarity — which were not always as simple as controlling air or fire. For example, a young boy named Enoch used hearts from other creatures to temporarily give life to his creation or a person. He created a battle between two deformed dolls with knifes in one hand and artificial hearts inside of them. These peculiar children added weirdness to the plot with their “powers”.

The major deal breaker between deciding with which genre the movie should be placed was the deal with eyes. In the plot, the mutated Ymbrynes and hollowgasts both had an obsession with this facial asset as it was their key to returning to their humanly ways. The final scene focused on eyes with the slowed-down, elaborated moment when a hollowgast physically pulled evil Dr. Golan’s eyes from his socket. The recall of that scene re-enforces the horror in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.