‘Beautiful Creatures’ fails to stun

'Beautiful Creatures' fails to stun

Danielle Rector

I had hoped that the movie adaptation of “Beautiful Creatures,” the first in the “Caster Chronicles” series, would bring magic to my night and win my heart, but the film wasn’t even worth the $10 bill in my pocket.
Right from the beginning, as the terrible graphics slowly faded in and I heard the cheesy voice-over come through the speakers, I knew I was in for a long 124 minutes.

You would think that by now the film industry would have learned the importance of choosing the right individuals that will bring a story to life. But judging from “Beautiful Creatures,” casting departments haven’t change much since “Twilight.”

I truly did try to take the acting seriously, but with the bad southern accents and awkward facial expressions, the best I could do was suppress my giggles.

Alden Ehrenreich’s take on Ethan Wate’s character was particularly disappointing. Ethan is supposed to be  a deeply emotional young man with a love for classic novels but in the movie he came off as a shallow and awkward teenager with a bad sense of humor.

Alice Englert did an average job of portraying some of Lena Duchannes’ more emotional moments, but in such a  big franchise I think that a more prestigious actress could have been given the part and engaged the audience better.

Ehrenreich and Englert did have some chemistry, but not enough to ever make me forget the fact that I was just sitting in a theater watching a movie.

Not even the mystical elements were done justice and ended up more like distractions from the serious circumstances. It was as if the director decided that it would be a good idea to go back to the 1970s technology used during the making of “Jaws.”

The one star that actually shined was definitely Emmy Rossum with her take on Ridley, Lena’s evil cousin. Her feisty and somewhat psychotic demeanor was very entertaining and grabbed my attention much more than either of the leads.

I expected that, having read the book of the same name by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, I would have to explain the somewhat complex plot to my friend who hadn’t even heard of the title. But the filmmakers twisted the story so much that I was the one asking questions about what was happening.

The movie stayed true to the general plot of high-schooler Ethan Wate falling in love with classmate and witch-like “caster” Lena Duchannes, who would soon have to choose to use her magic for good or evil. But there was an abundance of unnecessary changes and, off the top of my head, I could count five substantial characters that were omitted from the movie.

Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that fans of the book will also be in for an unpleasant surprise in the end.

Unfortunately Alcon Entertainment has rights to the first three movies of the “Caster Chronicles,” so it is very likely the there will be a sequel to “Beautiful Creatures” in the next year or so.
All I know is that I won’t be losing $10 more to another “Harry Potter” knockoff. I give the “Beautiful Creatures” 1.5 paws.