When I first saw the trailer for Beautiful Creatures, I was intrigue by the idea of a paranormal Romeo and Juliet. I have of course seen it in different versions (everyone wants to make a modern version) and I went in with this with an open mind. And yes, I’m aware that this movie is based off of a book. However, I haven’t read it but the basics from reading up on it were taken in before watching the movies.
That being said, a basics of this movie. Straight from IMDb…
Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Now that doesn’t give you a lot of information on what is going to happen. Clearly no spoilers. But I am not that way, all my reviews are spoilers. So if you’ve read me before, you know this but I still want there to be a warning. Don’t read if you haven’t watched it.
Beautiful Creatures stars Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich, Emmy Rossum, Viola Davis, and Jeremy Irons. To name a few of the actors anyway, this cast is pretty well put together. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to see this movie when it was in theaters. But alas, I was forced to wait until it came out on DVD.
So to begin, Ethan (Alden) has been having the same dream about a girl in a thunderstorm for a while now and he doesn’t sleep well because of it. Amma (Viola) is a housekeeper/second mother to Ethan because his Mom was killed when he was younger and his Dad is confined to his room (state of depression I guess). That being said, I don’t get why they even mentioned the father because you NEVER see him in the movie. He is just talked about and that’s it.
Anyway, Ethan is apparently the “golden boy” at his small town high school. And I am just going to state this, it’s a typical small town stereotype. Ethan wants out (like most of us who live in small towns) and he keeps thinking this until the new girl, Lena shows up (played by Alice). Lena is the new weirdo of the town (take in part her Uncle Macon is known for being crazy too). Well needless to say she doesn’t get a warm welcome and a few bizarre things happen around town and in a small town, religion is huge. They all believe Lena will bring bad luck and the devil to the town. They want her kicked out. Well soon you learn she is a Castor (aka witch) and that the tattoo on her hand counts down to her 16th Birthday. At that time she will either be a good or evil Castor. Evil Castors are forced out of the family and are known as killers among their kind. Lena has to fight this and does so with the help of her family.
Lena meets Ethan, they pretend like there isn’t a connection and then eventually they admit that they have been dreaming about each other and like each other. Lena’s family tries to keep them apart. And during the full moon before her birthday (which is set Dec. 21st) the family comes together for a ceremony dinner. Lena’s evil cousin, Ridley (Emmy) shows up and teases Lena with Ethan. There’s a power battle and blah blah blah.
Needless to say a lot of this movie is just pointless talking and a bad attempt to bring characters together. And then this is the BIG thing for me. Macon (Jeremy) and you learn later Lena’s Mom, Mrs. Lincoln (played by Emma Thompson) have a very odd encounter. And I say odd to put it politely, but there is some definite sexual tension between Macon and Mrs. Lincoln aka Sarafine, who are brother and sister by the way. I was very put off by this and it just got worse.
Overall, the ending is stupid. Lena somehow (after Macon gets killed) ends up being both good and evil. She is half and half. She banishes her Mom and her cousin Ridley goes away. Ethan is left with no memory of Lena and she does this to protect him. At the very end, after she gives him a book, he remembers everything. And then well, the movie ends.
This movie jumps around, barely develops a storyline and honestly, it’s an very undeveloped movie. I expected more and it makes me not want to read the books too. And yes I know, don’t judge a book by it’s movie. Here’s the thing though, a movie should develop a basic set up of a storyline and if this movie did that, then the books are not something for me.
Alright, now for my rating.
Beautiful Creatures gets 4 out of 10 stars. All of my reasons are stated above. I would pass on this one.