Beautiful Creatures has many positives including charming lead actors and some big names in the supporting cast. But the story is not that good and the outrageous special effects are over the top (not in a good way).
Set in Gatlin, South Carolina, a fictional small town, the movie touches on witchcraft, curses and strange religious practices. A bit of local Civil War lore and trees laden with Spanish moss add to the southern flavor of the film.
The new kid in town, Lena Duchannes, plots to avert the curse which will change her on her rapidly approaching 16th birthday. She’s played by Alice Englert. Alden Erichreich plays Ethan Waite, a high school kid with an engaging smile and tons of charisma. He, of courses, falls hard for Lena.
The cast includes Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis. While their talents are considerable and appreciated, their casting seems odd for a movie that aspires to grab some love from the Twilight crowd, now that that franchise is (supposedly) exhausted. Emmy Rossum, however, as Lena’s older sister is a perfect addition to the company of players.
Beautiful Creatures is an okay teen love story, perfectly timed for a Valentine’s weekend release. And, it’s worth repeating: these two central characters have good chemistry and onscreen charm.
But the paranormal/witchcraft elements in Beautiful Creatures are not as compelling as those seen in other such movies. See this creature feature? Eh, maybe wait for the DVD or the cable run.