Summary: A supernatural love story set in the South, Beautiful Creatures tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st February, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Screenwriter: Richard LaGravenese, Kami Garcia (novel), Margaret Stohl (novel)
Cast: Bryan Adrian (Billy), Eileen Atkins (Gramma), Camille Balsamo (Katherine Duchannes), Tiffany Boone (Savannah Snow), Beau Brasseaux (Caster Shades), Richard Brosnahan (Genevieve Duchannes), Leslie Castay (Principal Herbert), Lindsay Clift (Althea Duchannes), Milton Crosby (Earl), Viola Davis (Amma), Zoey Deutch (Emily Asher), Alden Ehrenreich (Ethan Wate), Alice Englert (Lena Duchannes), J.D. Evermore (Mitchell Wate), Lucy Faust (Juliette Duchannes), Andrea Frankle (Lila Wate), Kyle Gallner (Larkin Ravenwood), Sam Gilroy (Ethan Carter Wate), Cindy Hogan (Mrs. Asher), Jeremy Irons (Macon Ravenwood), Thomas Mann (Link), Margo Martindale (Aunt Del), Treston Miles (Emory), Gwendolyn Mulamba (Mrs. Snow), Lance E. Nichols (Mayor Snow), Philippe Radelet (Suttler), Randy Redd (Revered Stephens), Emmy Rossum (Ridley Duchannes), Robin Skye (Mrs. Hester), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Lincoln/Sarafine), Jackie Tuttle (Isobel Duchannes), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Mr. Lee), Justine Wachsberger (Justine Duchannes), Teri Wyble (Charlotte Duchannes)
Runtime: 124 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Review:
If you’ve seen all the publicity around ‘Beautiful Creatures’ you’ll know that it is supposed to be the replacement film for all of those who have been in mourning since both the ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter’ franchises have come to a close. The sad fact is however that ‘Beautiful Creatures’ is so bad that it doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the other films.
Based on the semi-successful series of novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl ‘Beautiful Creatures’ follows Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich – ‘Twixt’, ‘Stoker’) a young literature obsessed high school student who since the death of his beloved mother and dreamt of the day that he can escape from Gatlin, South Carolina instead of wasting his days away in a dead-water town with his best friend, Link (Thomas Mann – ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’, ‘Fun Size’).
Then suddenly Gatlin is made a little bit brighter by the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert – ‘In Fear’, ‘Ginger & Rosa’) who is sent to live with her mysterious uncle Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons – ‘Night Train To Lisbon’, ‘The Words’). The religious townsfolk have always been critical of the family for years believing that they practice in witchcraft and they instantly decide that Lena should leave especially after an incident that sees Emily Asher (Zoey Deutsch – TV’S ‘Ringer’, TV’S ‘Switched At Birth’) and Savannah Snow (Tiffany Boone – TV’S ‘Unmatchable’, TV’S ‘Suburgatory’) injured.
When Lena finally allows Ethan close to her he learns that she is a caster (fancy name for witch) but that she is scared that on her sixteenth birthday she may turn dark like the other females in her family, something that family members Sarafine (Emma Thompson – ‘Brave’, ‘Men In Black 3’) and Ridley (Emmy Rossum – TV’S ‘Inside’, TV’S ‘Shameless’) are counting on happening. And while it appears that it is written in stone that doesn’t stop Lena, Ethan, Macon and local ‘seer’ Amma (Viola Davis – ‘Won’t Back Down’, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’) from trying to prevent it from happening.
It is surprising just how bad ‘Beautiful Creatures’ really is. It is obvious that Summit Entertainment wanted to re-create the success they gained with ‘Twilight’ and they have obviously directed screenwriter/director Richard LaGravenese (‘P.S. I Love You’, ‘Freedom Writers’) to make this film as similar to their blockbuster as he could. Sadly though this brings the film completely undone, the soundtrack and the leading lady that looks like she could be Kristen Stewart’s sister almost make the film seem like a parody.
Also adding to the parody feeling are some of the cheesy moments during the film that actually have the audience laughing at instead of with the film… actually some of those moments are so bad there may be a few groans as well as laughs. LaGravenese then drags the film down even further when he tries to introduce some ‘Dark Shadows’ style comedy into a film that really should have been a supernatural horror in the vein of ‘The Craft’.
Sadly the producers of ‘Beautiful Creatures’ couldn’t even get the casting right for the film. Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons pretty much embarrass themselves in roles that could really tarnish their careers while Alden Ehrenreich is far too old to be playing a teenage romantic lead. And as for Alice Englert well she shouldn’t be giving up her TV work anytime soon because her performance here certainly won’t be having Hollywood producers knocking on her door.
No matter how much of a fan of the genre you are ‘Beautiful Creatures’ is the kind of film that you really need to avoid. This is one of 2013’s shockers… Golden Razzie nominations are sure to follow.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Beautiful Creatures′: Check Episode #21 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Beautiful Creatures’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘Beautiful Creatures’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.