Saturday, October 8, 2016

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Alcon Entertainment, Belle Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, USA, 2013. 
Beautiful Creatures titles

Based on novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. 

Smalltown boy Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) has a recurrent nightmare of following a girl and then dying. Gatlin is a boring and ultra-religious place and Ethan wants something else so he reads books to dream about faraway places. Unfortunately most books in the town are banned. He has a pretty but dull and bigoted girlfriend Emily (Zoey Deutch). New mysterous girl Lena (Alice Englert) arrives to school. Her ancestors are rumoured to be devil worshippers. When Lena's car brokes down, Ethan gives her a lift to her home. Lena recommends Charles Bukowski's books to Ethan (how charmingly decadent!). However the towners are certain that Lena's arrival means that something evil is happening. 
Alden Ehrenreich
Alice Englert
Tiffany Boone and Zoey Deutch
Savannah (Tiffany Boone) and Emily
Ethan wants to know Lena better. Lena lives with her uncle Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) who writes books that the towners want to ban. Macon does not like that Lena is seeing a mortal boy. Also Librarian Amma (Viola Davis) warns Ethan about the girl. Weird stuff happens.
Jeremy Irons
Viola Davis
Weird stuff happens.
Actually the weird stuff is magic related, lightning storms arise, dining table turns into a merry-go-round and a cartoon-like mini-cloud rains on Ethan. Lena's family are Casters (politically correct version of witches). They also bake tasty cookies (no, really!).
Mmm. Tasty cookies
Ethan thinks it is cool (the spell casting part that is). Lena's family is not evil, but Macon's half-sister Sarafine (Emma Thompson) is. The Casters have to follow either Light or Dark path (hello Star Wars!) when they turn sixteen and a curse prevents them from freely choosing their path. Lena's cousin Ridley (Emmy Rossum) turned wicked and Lena fears that she will too. The curse can be avoided but with a heavy price.
Emma Thompson
Emmy Rossum
Teen fantasy film is quite entertaining with a nice touch of Southern Gothic with Civil War reenactments and shady Louisiana forests. Although it represents the same supernatural teen romance genre as "Twilight" it manages to avoid being overly sappy (although there is still plenty of teen soap opera) and it has a bit more edge with less puritanic characters than in Twilight. It has some nice literary references and encourages reading challenged books. Also there is a running joke about wrongly spelled movie titles. However it is not perfect and has some serious flaws. At some points it feels that it is making heavy short cuts and leaving something out of the book (which I haven't read). Some sideplots were suddenly abandoned and for example the book banning plot had little to do with the actual conclusion. There are numerous characters that we are getting too little information about. Who are all these people? Ridley is depicted as Siren, are the other Casters also mythological creatures? The middle point where Lena is reading a grimoire wastes too much time and the story grinds to halt. The finale was still quite interesting and the target audience of young adult fantasy stories should be happy. What is nice that the visual style looks good and acting is great. Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson and always good and Emma Rossum was a good femme fatale. The young actors are have good chemistry and probably have shining careers in the future.
Civil War reenactment has an important role in the story.
For some reason the Finnish DVD added random Swedish words into the subtitles.

This is the last of the witch themed movie reviews for now. Next time something else.

Rating: Average

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale, Zoey Deutch, Tiffany Boone, Rachel Brosnahan, Kyle Gallner, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Robin Skye, Randy Redd, Lance E. Nichols, Leslie Castay, Sam Gilroy, Cindy Hogan, Gwendolyn Mulamba, Cole Burden, Billy Wheelan, Christopher Darby, Bryan Adrian, Camille Balsamo, Tim Bell, John R. Bennett II, Camille Blouin, Noelle Boggio, Colby Boothman, Beau Brasseaux, Cameron M. Brown, Edward J. Clare, Lindsay Clift, Jacob Coco, Milton Crosby, Erika Erica, J.D. Evermore, Lucy Faust, Andrea Frankle, Emily D. Haley, Charles Hunt, John C. Klein, Cynthia LeBlanc, Elton LeBlanc, Ryan Chase Lee, Wanda Leigh, Ada Michelle Loridans, Jamie Mackey, Treston Miles, Jeffery Nowell, Philippe Radelet, Erin Rementer, Codie Rimmer, Annette Doucet Sharpe, Russ Skains, Kay Smith, Jim Sojka, Jordan Sudduth, Nathan Alan Thomas, Jackie Tuttle, Joseph Uzzell, Justine Wachsberger, Julia Faye West, Rachel G. Whittle, Teri Wyble 
Director: Richard LaGravenese 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest! (All comments are moderated before publishing so please be patient!)

Recommendations by Engageya