Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a triumph because normal is boring

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a triumph because normal is boring

A creepy tale of strange children is really a celebration of being different


Everyone has a place at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Photo: Golden Scene

Finally, the wait is over and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is set to open on September 29. Ransom Riggs’ debut novel took the YA world by storm and it was a no-brainer that a movie would follow.

The peculiar Tim Burton is the perfect choice to direct this creepy tale of adventure, which is inspired by the weird old photographs Riggs would collect at garage sales.

Jacob Portman, who will be played by Asa Butterfield in the movie, is very close to his grandpa, who tells him creepy stories about growing up in an orphanage run by a Miss Peregrine. As he matures, Jake realises the old man is stretching the truth ... but then there’s the photo album: his grandfather’s collection of pictures of freak children. All the photos are strange, but it’s possible they were made using trick photography.

Hollow City, the sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is another great read from Ransom Riggs [Review]

After a family tragedy strikes, Jake is determined to find out the truth behind Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children. He finds the orphanage in a small town in Wales, in Britain. But when he goes there he finds it empty ... or is it?

Time travel, zombies, monsters, creepy kids and an eerie house, this is a story made for the ghosting season.

But this is more than just a movie. The story strikes a chord with teenagers because it understands that everyone, at some point, feels like a freak. The children in the movie are all “freaks”. Yet the very thing that makes them freaks also makes them strong.

Eva Green plays the title character.
Photos: Golden Scene

The movie makers have started the #StayPeculiar social media campaign, encouraging people to celebrate their quirks and find strength in them. It’s a great message for young people who feel like outsiders.

Tim Burton made a name for himself by directing strange movies, such as Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Edward Scissorhands. “As a child you never really forget those feelings of being different. They stay with you forever,” he explains. “I was branded as being ‘peculiar’ because as a child I loved monster movies. So you go through things like that in your childhood and sometimes even later in life. There are a lot of people out there who feel that way.”

But the theme is best summed up by Ella Purnell, who portrays one of the children, Emma. “We’re all surrounded by Twitter and Instagram and other kinds of social media, which make it so easy to compare yourself with others, to think you’re not good enough or you don’t belong. But what we should be celebrating is what makes you, you.”


We have 15 pairs of tickets for the film to give away to Young Post readers. The screening is on September 29 at 9.50pm in Broadway Hollywood Cinema, Diamond Hill. 

For a chance to win a pair, email us at yp@scmp.com with your full name, age, school and phone number, with “Peculiar” in the subject line by Thursday at noon.

We’ll let you know that afternoon if you’re off to see the movie!

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Because normal is boring


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