Beautiful Creatures


Twilight-style 'witch' movie based on popular young adult novel series Discuss this article

© ITP Images

Mere months after tween-lit vampire franchise Twilight ended its popular cinematic run, along comes Richard LaGravenese’s occasionally inspired, mostly slack adaptation of the first of four South Carolina-set fantasy witch novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Only don’t call Lena Duchannes (Englert) and her brethren ‘witches’; they’re ‘casters,’ a race of magical beings who have lived alongside us humans since time immemorial.

Once these conjurers hit age 16, they are claimed by the ‘Light’ or the ‘Dark,’ which causes some issues between Lena and her mortal inamorato, Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), who narrates this mystical romance with rural insouciance.

As with many young-adult book-to-film series, Beautiful Creatures plays like an illustrated compendium of scenes from the novel, as opposed to a finely tuned narrative of its own. LaGravenese’s few good ideas, such as a running gag involving Leonardo DiCaprio movies, or the stunning reveal of the interior of Lena’s decrepit abode, can’t make up for the perfunctorily portentous nature of the storytelling: supernatural power as metaphor for adolescent travails has about run its thematic course. And while Ehrenreich and Englert have a pleasing chemistry, the rest of the cast are instead given free rein to cash their pay cheques slicing the ham cringingly thick.

By Keith Uhlich
Time Out Doha,

Beautiful Creatures

  • Duration: 124
  • Released: Thu, 21 Feb
  • Classification: 15+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Richard LaGravenese
  • Stars: Alice Englert, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Alden Ehrenreich, Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Eileen Atkins

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