Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

I know it’s been a while since the movie adaptation of popular young adult novel Beautiful Creatures came out, but I’ve decided that this blog needs more movie posts. So doing movie reviews (or attempting to) is another not-so-shiny new item on my long long list of writing to-do’s (which is currently somewhat neglected, by the way, but we’ll talk about that another time).  Let’s get it on, shall we?

I haven’t read the book so this is obviously not going to be a book-to-movie post. Maybe I’ll come back to this if or when I’ve read the book. I’ve read mixed reviews about this one and I may pass on it, but I’m kind of curious about it, too. We shall see. Or not.

My absolute favorite thing about Beautiful Creatures was the movie trailer. I thought it was awesome. To be more precise, I thought the musical scoring was fantastic. It was appropriately haunting and it promised of something terrifying and powerful. After seeing that trailer a few times I was itching to watch this movie on the big screen. I wasn’t really expecting to like the story (again, because of the mixed reviews about the book), but I sure was expecting a lot of fun magic and exciting witchy action.

Anyway, look at the movie poster. Edgy dark leather and tulle ballgown for the win. I kind of like it. Not so much her makeup, but I guess it’s supposed to go with the whole dark theme. Emmy Rossum (leftmost) in this alluring lacy number is gorgeous as well. Of course, the rest of the cast looks good and they were great in the movie, too. It helps that most of them are award-winning or award-nominated actors.

So this movie had a great cast, but the story for me was okay, interesting, but not really mind blowing. You have Ethan the small town dude who dreams of a faceless girl. Then in comes new girl Lena, niece of town recluse Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), who is unpopular in town because apparently their family is of the “evil kind.” Ethan is drawn to her and later realizes she’s the girl in his dreams. They become friends since Ethan refuses to leave her alone. Lena turns out to be a caster, which is a witch in layman’s terms, although they don’t really like that term. Lena reveals that on her 16th birthday her true nature will be claimed either by Light or Dark. There’s also a curse that goes way back and involves both Lena and Ethan. The movie is about them trying to find a way to break the curse and anticipating Lena’s claiming.

Like I said, the casting was great. Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis and Emma Thompson are pretty convincing no matter what movie they’re in so I can’t really say anything bad about them. I’m not a big fan of Emmy Rossum, but she was fabulous in this, too, and I think relative newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert were also great. I have no idea what their characters are supposed to be like since I’ve never read the book, but I think they wore their characters well. Alden looked convincing as Ethan, the cute boy who loved to read banned books and couldn’t wait to get out of the sleepy little town. I loved that Alice, who played Lena, had that subtle kind of beauty which I think fit her character.

For me the whole storyline is fine and interesting, but the movie felt like a novel that was turned into a movie. I mean, you know what I mean? I felt that there were things that could have been explained more or explored more. I wanted to know why casters wore exquisite gowns and suits when they’re inside their magical house or when they’re having a party with other casters. I know it’s silly, but I would have loved to know more about the nature of casters, their family, their relationship with seers, their history and why Lena had the potential to be one of the most powerful casters of all, but I guess stuff like that would have made the movie too long. (Yeah, I like backstories a lot.)

The magic scenes were fun though. I thought the “battle scene” at the end could have been amped up a little more, but I have to admit it was kinda cool how that played out.

Overall, the Beautiful Creatures movie was entertaining enough. I think it’s a good movie if you haven’t read the book. I’ve seen a few reviewers all up in arms about how terrible the movie is compared to the novel, but I really wouldn’t have a clue. I still think the trailer was more powerful. They should have used that awesome trailer song in the movie. I actually can’t remember if they did. Did they? No? What?

Have you seen this movie, read the book, or both? Dish!

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