Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

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So, I went into Beautiful Creatures expecting what the preview showed – lots of awesome magic-y stuff with a really dark edge, as evidenced by the black-stuff-spewing-out-of-screaming-wenches scenes in the previews. And honestly, I was disappointed, because there was far too little black-stuff-spewing and the magic involved left a lot to be desired… there were some cool scenes, but I’m left feeling like there was just too much story to fit into a movie. Perhaps split into two movies would be better to capture the total effect of such a cool romance and world.

I am glad I didn’t read the book first though, since I might have been MORE disappointed.

But… the movie did end up inspiring me to write this week on New Stories, Old Book… because there’s an awesome bit of religious fiction laced into the story as the high school kids – and later, their parents – fight over who has the right to dictate which teenagers belong in the school: the praying, church-going folk who have some bullying tendencies or the hidden group of casters who stay somewhat secluded from society but have power and money backing their right to stay in town.

So the one girl, Emily, starts to pray in class because she thinks Lena – the main character – is evil. And Lena kinda trips out and makes all the windows explode, solidifying her opposition to the religious crowd. But the cool part of the religious theme in this story (at least in the movie version – let me know if the book gives a totally different position, I’d love to know!) is the way the Seer, Amma, presents the religious viewpoints. She attends church regularly but communicates with ancestors that have crossed over, and guards a library full of books that normal people can’t touch. And she tells the main male character – and I’m paraphrasing here, cuz the movie’s nothing close to out-on-BluRay yet – Ethan, that though these things seem to oppose each other, they were all created by the same force, so believing in magic doesn’t actually contradict a lifetime of faith in God.

It was a cool moment, for me, of seeing that universal acceptance in film. So often we think of opposing forces when speaking of religion and religion in fiction, and in this case, I was totally reminded of the love all the authors and readers here on this site have for each other and the different expressions of faith in fiction. We all love new twists on stories, yet share a respect for the original writings, and no matter what faiths we practice now, were influenced and inspired by the same Old Book (and some different ones, too!). I like seeing that unity, even though Beautiful Creatures had some serious opposition between the two groups as well… there was an undertone of love and awesomeness that is important to bringing people together in any situation.

Also: The love story was cute:

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The main female character, Lena, was totally badass:

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And … now, this is totally just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure the main male character could pass for the love child of Leonardo Dicaprio and Joshua Jackson:

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Alden Ehrenreich

Not a bad-looking kid!

(and he’s apparently been on Supernatural before, too)

At any rate, I do recommend the movie for the cute love story, and if you have kids who are in that it’s-okay-to-watch-makeout-sessions age without wanting a movie with too many scary scenes, it’s a good one.

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About Nola.Sarina

I am an author of dark fantasy, horror and paranormal romance books. My dark fantasy series, The Vesper Series, is a twist on Original Sin. The series is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency. I find my favorite books with new takes on all things supernatural, paranormal and biblical, including vampires, angels and demons, and am an advocate for the New Adult market category for fiction.

Posted on February 19, 2013, in Movies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I was heartbroken by how they mauled the ending. It’s a fun date-night movie, but it can’t compare with just how gorgeous the book is.

  2. This movie has been on my hit-list since I seen the awesome trailer. Good to know what to expect. Thanks for posting such an honest review.

    • Yeah, the trailer won me over in a heartbeat! And there ARE some cool magical moments, like when she shows him her poetry collection… but the moments were fleeting and the darkness wasn’t as laced in as I expected. 🙂 It was still entertaining though!

  3. I haven’t seen the movie – yet… and now, having read your review, I may wait for the video… I have read the book (first one of series) and LOVED it… It was NOT disappointing in the least. And, although it’s been several months since I read it, the comments about Amma and her views about religion and magic not being all that far apart does seem to jive with my memory of the book. It was a dark book, but in the best way. I saw some of the trailers and it looks like they took a little liberty with a couple of the characters too, but not having seen it, I can’t say for sure. Anyway, whether the movie is worth watching, I don’t know… but the book is definitely worth the time, in my opinion.
    Thanks for a great post, Nola!

  4. The book is pretty awesome. Amma and Link were my two favorite characters, and Amma’s role only becomes more rich and interesting as the stories progress. I do plan to see the movie, even though I’m usually disappointed in the movie version of, well… anything! For those of you who read the series… does it look as though they plan to film the rest of the books, or does it look like a stand-alone film?

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