Jacob always felt like there wasn’t anything special about him. But as his grandfather lay dying, he tells Jacob to find the orphanage he grew up in on an island off the coast of Wales during World War II. That there’s a secret he should have told Jacob long ago. Setting out with his father, Jacob soon discovers that the stories his grandfather would tell him growing up – about children who could fly, who had bees living inside of them, and who could lift extremely heavy objects as if they were light as a feather – may not be just stories after all. And that meant the monsters in those stories were just as real and are after them.
I read the book that this movie was adapted from back in February and loved it, so I was pretty excited for the movie to be released. However, where the book was enchanting and magical, the movie of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children completely missed the mark.
I will say, I enjoyed the first half of the movie. I know I can be very picky with movie adaptations, so I tried to keep an open mind with Emma and Olive’s peculiarities being switched and the few small changes that occurred in the plot. It was the second half that I felt completely ruined what could have been a decent movie. First, none of what occurred in the second half of the movie happened in the book, and while sometimes that’s not a bad thing, this time I think it would’ve been better just to stick with the book because then it would’ve at least made sense. I’ve heard that they changed the ending of the movie because there weren’t going to be movie adaptations of Hollow City or Library of Souls. Although I have yet to read those two books, a friend of mine who has read them said even if they wanted to continue, that the new movie ending made it so there’s no way the story can be continued how it is written in the books anyway.
The changes in the movie created several obvious plot holes and paradoxes in the movie that were not noticeable in the book and that made the movie not make sense. The changes to the ending also made it so everything was happy and right in the world, which I found pretty annoying because it felt like a cop out. Instead of creating a more interesting ending that could have taught a younger audience how to deal with loss, the movie just reversed everything that happened in the beginning so Jacob wouldn’t have to suffer.
Besides the differences in the story, I felt that the changes between scenes were choppy and were often so sudden that it took a few seconds before I was aware of what happened. I also didn’t think that the acting was good for any character. Even the performance of experienced actors Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Green, and Judi Dench seemed to be forced, as if they had decided after agreeing to be part of this movie that maybe that wasn’t such a good idea.
So, if you’re interested in seeing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I would highly recommend reading the book instead.