Beautiful Creatures

Supernatural Teen Romance is a genre now, in case you missed it. Yes, it existed before Twilight, but Twilight really made it take off in a big way. I think it even has its own sections in book stores now. Unfortunately, that means everything will then be compared to Twilight if it has supernatural romance in it, which is of course silly. Twilight is a straight up Drama Romance, while something like Warm Bodies is a Comedy Romance (but not a RomCom).

Beautiful Creatures seems to fall somewhere in between the two.

Mmm food
Don’t be so scared guy, it is just a witch dinner.

This film takes place in Gatlin, South Carolina, which means two things – Southern Accents, and the Bible Belt. This town is the location of a small civil war battle, but that is the only thing it has to its name, so the town celebrates the reenactment every year. Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) loves to read and learn, separating him from most of the locals. Of course when a girl from a recluse family moves back to town, they all assume she is a devil worshiper and bad news.

Ethan doesn’t care, she reads books too, so she is perfect. Who cares if Lena (Alice Englert) actually ends up being a witch? A witch who doesn’t know if she will be good or evil until her 16th birthday, you know, when all female witches have it chosen for them, based on their “True self”. Why just the women and not men? Not sure, sexism probably. Can he handle a woman with powers, and her family (Uncle = Jeremy Irons, Cousin = Emmy Rossum, and mother) forcing her in different directions?

Also featuring Thomas Mann as normal best friend, Emma Thompson as his super religious mother, and Viola Davis as his guardian/librarian friend. After all, a story needs normal people in as well, or else we have nothing to make fun of!

I think he looks like an older Eddie Munster. Does that add to the supernatural feel?

Beautiful Creatures is of course based on the novel, and from what I can tell, if you like the novel, you might hate this movie! Like all great book to film transitions, things change, and frankly I don’t care how different it is from the book, because I like what I saw.

The main two leads are relatively new to the movie scene and I haven’t seen them in anything personally, but I loved them both. Alden made me laugh almost every time he talked, and not just because of his strong accent combined with “smart people” words. Alice and Alden had great chemistry together, and despite being a quick teen romance, I found it believable.

The movie had its issues of course, sometimes it felt like it had B-movie special effects, and it definitely was predictable at parts. I am confused at why they cast Kyle Gallner as the brother, who looks far too much like Robert Pattinson. That is just asking for more Twilight comparisons.

More impressively, the “dinner scene” was done almost entirely without CGI, a rarity in movies these days, and pretty dang impressive in general. I say give it a chance, and try not to get lost in the paper thin religious towns people.

3 out of 4.

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