I am not a huge fan of teen franchises. The train to Hogwarts had already left the station several years before I showed up to catch it and the notion of sparkling vampires both terrifies and amuses me.
If it wasn’t for a decent trailer Beautiful Creatures would have passed me by. I don’t care that I haven't read the book.
PLOT: After Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) falls for Lena, (Alice Englert) the new girl at school he discovers that she is a “caster” and on her approaching sixteenth birthday she will be claimed to either serve the dark or light for all eternity. Will the star crossed lovers live happily ever after and more importantly will I give a shit by the closing credits? END PLOT
Forbidden love, family secrets, supernatural powers and homework – Beautiful Creatures has all of the key attributes expected from a teen fiction adaptation. The plot isn’t ground breaking but the history of casters is given a local feel within the town of Gatlin which gives the mythology more depth than expected.
With a running time of just over two hours Beautiful Creatures takes its time getting to final showdown but unfortunately it couldn't build up any real tension. The finale was essentially two women standing in a field shouting at each other on a blustery afternoon.
Beautiful Creatures does attempt to be different by telling the story from Ethan’s point of view rather than Lenas. This works out very well thanks to the ridiculously charming performance of Alden Ehrenreich
Ehrenreich and Englert have decent chemistry and with support provided by Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons the quality of the acting is very fine indeed. Thompson is clearly enjoying herself which is always fun to watch.
There are a couple of set pieces but they don’t rate above average. The effects, such as spinning tables, shattering glass and angry lightening have all been done before. The smaller moments, such as the writing appearing on the walls and books, were handled much better.
I feel sorry for Beautiful Creatures as it will constantly be compared to Twilight. The comparisons are to be expected but are completely unfounded as the actors in Beautiful Creatures are not charmless droids devoid of any personality – it is the actors who save this film.
Beautiful Creatures is certainly not in the running for the best film of the year and for those who have no interest in reading the books I would probably advise you to stay away. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be is the strongest compliment I can give.
Watchable. Enjoyable. Forgettable. Beautiful Creatures gets 5.5/10