The new fantastic movie of Tim Burton, based on a children’s book by Ransom Riggs, follows the adventures of a young boy traveling to a mysterious island which houses the ruins of an abandoned orphanage. Here he will meet a troupe of creepy kids endowed with superhuman abilities. But unlike X-Men, the bizarre inhabitants of this place are not trying to save the world, but to hide from it.
The movie features some famous actors (such as Samuel L Jackson, Eva Green, Judi Dench or Chris O’Dowd) and two key filming locations, the Welsh island of Cairnholm and Miss Peregrine's house.
The Edward Scissorhands director likes to have in-camera effects as often as he can, using visual effects trying not to make it overly green screen. This way the production went to a mixture of locations and had a real house. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children has been filmed in the United Kingdom, Belgium and also in Florida:
After a long research, the team settled on Torenhof Castle in Brasschaat, north of Antwerp (Belgium). Burton wanted a place that looked like a house, not a huge stately home or an institute. As they couldn't find anything in UK, they expanded the search abroad. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox
They found this Gothic manor following a clue from the author of the book, who described the orphanage inspired by the abandoned château Nottebohm in Brecht (pictured), near Brasschaat. However, it was too dilapidated to film safely there. Image courtesy of Kiekmal
Portholland in Cornwall is a tiny hamlet inhabited by only 40 souls. It is doubling for the movie as Cairnholm, the fictional town in an island located close to Wales. Image by Philip Halling and 20th Century Fox
The town had the character and the right coastline, but it lacked the pub and the shops (there are only like 15 houses). As you can see on the picture at the left, there is a big car park in the middle of the village, so the team decided to add a few buildings and a graveyard (the image at the right was taken during the shooting). Image by Keith Kingdom and Hurley Books
American writer Ransom Riggs on set with the Priest Hole in the background. This pub was also built as an interior for filming. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Two of the three shops for the set built by the production team (only the exterior).
Image by Timjrowe
A view of Portholland and the beach that became the cliffs where Oggie fell. Filming for Miss P. in Cornwall also took place near a town called Minions(!!!), on the area of Bodmin Moor. Image by Nilfanion
The Backpool that we see in the film is collage, a nicer version of this coastal city in North West England. On the top left, a screenshot from the film where a pier is located in front of the tower. The pic at the bottom left is the North Pier, where the action takes place in the film. At the right, an aerial image of the real Blackpool Tower, with no pier.
Image by 20th Century Fox, Parrot of Doom and Jeremy
In this scene Emma levitates near Blackpool Tower, completed in 1894 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Google Maps
The CGI team put the entrance to the Central Pier at the other side of the promenade. In real Blackpool this pier is located more than a thousand feet going down the coast. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox and Alex Liivet
In this screenshot we can also appreciate the changes to Blackpool's coastline in the film.
Other minor filming locations for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children were set in Sun City Center, Florida (USA), doubling as Abe's neighborhood. Image by Ignacio Palomo Duarte
If you haven't discovered yet the original 3 book series in which the film is based, this Boxed Set is a nice edition packed with the two sequels, Hollow City and the Library of Soulscomes, plus 12 collectible peculiar photographs. Finally, the beautifully illustrated volume Tales of the Peculiar contains other stories outside the main one of this universe, and also has got very good reviews: