Rated PG-13 for violence, scary images and some sexual material
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray, digital download and on demand
With the popularity of the “Twilight” books and movies, supernatural romance is all the rage, and “Beautiful Creatures” is the latest entry in the genre. The film, based on the 2009 novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, tells of Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), a South Carolina teen who falls in love with a girl that he’s only met in his dreams. When a stunning brunette named Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) moves to town, Ethan realizes she’s the dream girl, and he pursues her despite widespread rumors that she is a witch.
Although Lena enjoys Ethan’s company, she resists his advances, in large part because she really is a supernatural being. Making things worse is the fact that her entire life could change on her rapidly approaching 16th birthday. Lena explains to Ethan that when she reaches that landmark date, she will be claimed for either good or evil, and she fears being consumed by darkness.
Writer-director Richard LaGravenese (“P.S. I Love You,” “Freedom Writers”) presents the material in melodramatic fashion, and youthful audiences may appreciate the attractive stars and their determination to overcome all obstacles for true love. Unfortunately, there’s nothing particularly compelling about the story.
Much is made of Lena’s approaching birthday and the possibility she could turn evil, but her character isn’t fleshed out. The movie also contains a number of supporting characters whose motivations aren’t explained thoroughly. Because of this, the story is often plodding and dull when it should be thrilling.
The DVD release for “Beautiful Creatures” contains deleted scenes and a trailer for Margaret Stohl’s new book, “Icons.” The Blu-ray combo pack has those extras plus a number of behind-the-scenes features.
By Forrest Hartman