Hot on the heels of the Twilight films comes Beautiful Creatures, where a normal guy falls in love with a magic-casting girl. And just like that popular vampire/werewolf/depressed girl love triangle many predicted similar things from the film, as it was also based on a mega-popular YA book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That didn’t happen. Maybe the intended audiences for this type of content were burnt out by endless imitators and countless clones, but exited theaters just as quickly as it entered. Now it’s back in this luxurious Blu-ray edition, ready to show fans what they may have missed in the original theaterical version.
Sadly, most are sure to throw this in with the rest of the young adult films, and while it does tend to drag in bit in some spots, there’s a certain charm about this movie that separates it from the pack, and will entertain those who enjoy a good love story. It’s a shame the film’s disappointing box-office means this will likely be the only book from the series that gets adapted, as I wouldn’t mind seeing this cast tackle a few more.
Based on Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s first novel of the Caster Chronicles series, the story takes place in the southern town of Gatlin, where a young guy named Ethan (Alden Ehrenrich) is doing everything he can to get away from the town due to losing his his mother in a car accident and his father distancing himself afterwards. But one day, Ethan meets a young girl named Lena (Alice Englert) who turns out to be a witch, or “caster” as they’re called here. She comes from a family of casters where when they turn sixteen, their true powers claim them for good or evil. Her Uncle (played the always great Jeremy Irons) was claimed by the dark side but uses his power for the light, and is doing everything he can to ensure Lena is tuned to the light when she turns sixteen, as her powers are already the strongest out of everyone in the family. But as Ethan and Lena begin to fall in love, other members of her family try to keep them apart, which may force Lena to become a dark, indestructible force that no one will be able to stop.
I’ll be honest, I was ready to chalk this film up as another Twilight wannabe, but I’m glad I gave it a chance and even more happy to be proven wrong. While the pacing does drag in some parts, I thought it was an interesting fantasy romance that came off feeling a bit most realistic that most of the junk filmmakers throw into the young adult genre. I think what really did it was the excellent casting and the chemistry between them, and Jeremy Irons really brought things together like he does in most of the movies he stars in.
As with many of the Warner Bros. Blu-ray releases, the audio and visuals are spot-on, making sure everything is seen and heard perfectly. There’s plenty of extras featured on the disc as well, such as behind-the-scenes featurettes that go into how the book was adapted here, a few that cover the production of the movie, cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes and more.
Fans of books series and those who enjoy fantasy romances are sure to like Beautiful Creatures, as it’s easily one of the better ones I have seen in quite some time. Fans of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s best-selling Caster Chronicles won’t be disappointed as their favorite series gets a proper adaptation here, with an excellent cast and great production values that really come together. It’s a shame the film performed so poorly at the box-office, as this is likely the only chance we’ll see these characters come to life onscreen – unless it performs magic at home. It can be a bit slow at times, but with an excellent cast that also has good chemistry, and tons of special features, this is one magic disc you’ll want to cast alongside your collection.
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Warner Home Video