Film review: Beautiful Creatures (2013)
UK release date: 13 February 2013
Viewing date: 17 March 2013
Stats: Directed by Richard LaGravenese, screenplay by Richard LaGravenese. Novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson.
Review by: Alexa Williamson
Rating: **** (out of 5)
2013 has and is going to see a lot of fairytales and supernatural flicks hit the big screen – maybe every year does – but this year doesn’t seem able to stop (with the floodgates actually opening with the release of Snow White and the Huntsman in May, 2012).
This version of Beautiful Creatures, which stars Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, is about witches in “The South” of America. Galvin, South Carolina is a quiet, Deep South town with 12 churches, banned books, Civil War re-enactment battlefields, weeping willow trees, heavy rains, swamps, woods, biblebashers, an old Southern mansion – and not much else… except a few witches (which refer to themselves as “casters” ie “spell- casters”) – who also (of course, according to OTT American movies) inhabit the mansion (well the majority of them at least).
If you like the supernatural and gothic things, then you will like this film. You will like it probably only for the mood as there is not much plot or character development, instead just pretty versions of the following: sets, costumes, acting, scenery, and humourous one-liners of dialogues from the characters.
This movie stars Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate (a human who likes to read and has grown up in Galvin) and Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes a witch, from out of town, who is just about to reach her 16th birthday and her “true nature” will decide if she is a good witch or bad witch. Can you tell how cheesy this movie is? Yup, it is nearly all teenage angst and “down South” stereotyping. However, for some reason both Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson are great in their parts as, generally, grim and bad witches in a demure Addams Family kind of way. Emma is a bit insane as well. Jeremy is just cool and dark. Fantastic to see him in this film as he is very together. So that’s the film for you. Stumble through a badly told teenage romance and some funny spell casting parts and some pretty old South sets.
Better than some films, worse than many. The kind of thing worth watching for free on TV if you must catch something ‘Southern Gothic’. That’s about it. Still gets 4 out of 5 stars, however, as Irons’ and Thompson’s acting is excellent as are the costumes and sets.
Beautiful Creatures (IMDB)
Snow White and the Huntsman review (The London Reviewer)
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