You know things are odd when you’ve read the book upon which a movie is based and the movie still manages to surprise you. I don’t mean this in a good way.
Having nothing better to do a few weeks back, and knowing this would be released, I decided to read the novel Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the first in the Caster series. I thought the book was decent enough but figured the movie would be much better as the content is made to be translated to the big screen.
To say I was mistaken would be an understatement and I’m not sure if it’s only because the movie has absolutely nothing to do with the book, except for about 20 minutes which are spread out here and there over a two hour running time.
Lena Duchannes is a newcomer to the town of Gatlin, in the deep American South. She lives in Ravenwood manor, a place that the townspeople don’t look favorably upon nor upon its inhabitant, a man they hadn’t seen in years. When you’re that deep in the Bible Belt, the only thing people accept is Jesus and Republicans. If you deviate from that, then you’re the devil. Trying to fit in high school is some tough business for Lena who finds comfort in Ethan Wate, a boy whom she intrigues. He discovers that Lena is a caster (a fancy word for witch) and that female casters in her family are claimed to either the dark of the light when they turn 16 – and Lena doesn’t have much time left until her birthday.
The movie features an interesting cast that comprises of Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis. Frankly, I have no idea what they were thinking in signing up to this. Not only is Beautiful Creatures not entertaining, it is an atrocity of monstrous proportions. Nothing in the movie works. The three aforementioned actors come off as amateurs who had never done a movie before. The special effects are cheap. The few moments of snarky dialogue at the beginning are nowhere near enough to make you look favorably at the hours that followed.
If you have read and liked the book, steer clear from this. If you have nothing to do during two hours of your life, steer clear from this. My guess is Beautiful Creatures did such a bad job at turning the book upon which it’s based into a movie that the upcoming parts in the series will never see the light of the day. Good.