After the hoo-hah that is Twilight and The Hunger Games, the last thing the world probably needs is another adaptation of a teen fiction series, especially that of the supernatural persuasion. This movie was first advertised back in late 2012 and didn’t really think twice about it, until it hit our screens this weekend.
Beautiful Creatures is an adaptation of the 2009 book; the first book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Small-town boy Ethan Wate dreams of leaving his hometown Gatlin, until he meets mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes. As he begins a relationship with her, he discovers that Lena is a Caster (aka. a witch) and that on his upcoming 16th birthday, she must undergo the Claiming where, depending on her true nature, she will be claimed for either the Light or the Dark (make of that as you will; the easiest comparison for me is whether she becomes a Jedi or a Sith).
Now, this film immediately poses a problem – supernatural romances are no longer a fresh faced genre and there’s only so much you can bring to the table to keep the audiences entertained. In addition to this, Beautifiul Creatures is the first of four books, leading the way to a complicated love affair between Ethan and Lena as well as serves as the introduction to yet another fictional supernatural world ; something viewers may not need another of in these modern times.
However, unlike Twilight and The Hunger Games, The Caster Chronicles is not the most instantly recognisable series and didn’t have that sense of intense fan anticipation before its release (thank God). There are various factors to this film that makes it more appealing: the Southern setting (appealing to the Truebie in me); the different perspective: the male mortal and the female supernatural compared to the other way round; and the cast are much more watchable. Alice Engelbert and Alden Ehrenreich are a more engaging couple and the supporting cast members, especially Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum, seem to be relishing in their roles, making the most of occasionally lacklustre script.
Overall, Beautiful Creatures is a welcome change to Twilight and a film that is actually enjoyable.
Thanks for reading.