Beautiful Creatures: Review

Posted 17/06/2013


Beautiful Creatures
Now that the ‘Twilight’ movie series has wrapped, several supernatural teen romances are heading for theatres, aiming to fill the void left in Twi-hards’ hearts. And ‘Beautiful Creatures’ clearly falls in that category. But despite the inevitable comparisons, the movie totally stands on its own, with characters you’ll fall for and root for.

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) is a teenager itching to experience life outside his tiny South Carolina town. So when mysterious Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) moves in with her uncle Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), Ethan is immediately drawn to her despite the town rumours about the family. Minor complication: Lena is a ‘caster’—the preferred term for ‘witch’—who is destined to be drafted to either the good or the evil league on her fast-approaching 16th birthday. And her blossoming love for ‘mortal’ Ethan awakens a curse that could pull her over to the dark side. But it also awakens a new idea…that maybe Lena can choose her own path, rather than letting fate choose for her.

‘Beautiful Creatures’ uses the supernatural to deal with issues even mortal teenagers face: feeling like you don’t fit in, rebelling against family expectations, falling in love for the first time. (Much like, yes, the ‘Twilight’ series.) You don’t have to have magic powers to relate to Lena feeling like an outsider.

An epic fantasy saga must have a great ensemble cast, and ‘Beautiful Creatures’ delivers. Ehrenreich and Englert have totally charming chemistry—they capture the genuine heart of a teenage relationship amidst all the fantasy elements. Emmy Rossum injects campy fun into the mix as Lena’s ‘dark caster’ cousin Ridley. (She doesn’t chew the scenery, she spins it around!) And it’s pretty awesome that the supporting cast is comprised of Irons and Emma Thompson, both Oscar winners and Important British Actors, plus Oscar nominee Viola Davis…and Thomas Mann, the kid from ‘Project X.’ Hey, the movie is all about bridging different worlds!

As ‘Beautiful Creatures’ is based on the first book in a hit series, it’s a no-brainer that sequels will follow. And once you see the heart-stopping ending, you’ll agree that the first one can’t come fast enough!

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