There’s something about supernatural love that attracts the young audiences like no other. Twilight did it with vampires and now Beautiful Creatures is attempting to do it with witches, or in this case, casters.
Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is just your average high school senior from the small Southern town of Gatlin who dreams of adventure and the big city. He just might get his wish when the mysterious Lana Duchannes (Alice Englert) arrives and strange things start happening around town. Turns out she’s a caster on the verge of her 16th birthday in which she will be destined to pick between the Dark and the Light. Can she control the fate of her own destiny or has it already been decided by a curse cast long ago?
Beautiful Creatures, unfortunately is anything but beautiful. The film attempts to be this supernatural coming of age story but is unlikeable in almost every aspect. The story relies so heavily on Southern stereotypes that it practically ruins any interest it might have drawn up from the trailers. It’s difficult to follow what’s going on when the only thing you can focus on is how horrible the Southern dialect is.
It’s not just that either. Ethan is reduced to nothing more than some bumbling Southern boy who tries to use his “charm” to get with Lana. Even the seer Amma, played by the talented Viola Davis, is depicted as some voodoo witchdoctor. The film is full of these outdone stereotypes that take away from what could have been a decent film. The only halfway decent aspect about Beautiful Creatures is Jeremy Irons’ performance as Lana’s shunned uncle Macon Ravenwood. He’s the only shining light in this otherwise dark film.
Beautiful Creatures proposes an interesting concept with having to choose between light and dark powers but the execution absolutely fails. There is simply no chemistry between the two leads, which the film absolutely hinges on, and nearly every moment will make you cringe. This is the adaptation of the first book in a series of three. I can only hope it’s the last.