Beautiful Creatures  (2013)    63/100

Rating :   63/100                                                                     124 Min        12A

The latest offering in the teen fantasy romance genre focuses on witches rather than vampires or werewolves, but retains many familiar elements; such as a young attractive female soon to be the centre of everyone’s attention, and pretty much bad news for everyone else in the middle of nowhere dead-end town where she is the newcomer, cue polarised clashes of good versus evil. It’s not too bad though, despite featuring nothing terribly original, and the leads played by Alice Englert (daughter of ‘The Piano’ 93 director Jane Campion) as Lena Duchannes, and Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Wate are good enough to hold interest until the end, with Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, and Emmy Rossum in support for extra gravitas and sex appeal.

It’s based on the 2009 book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and in their universe curiously the female witches, unlike their male counterparts, do not get to choose whether or not they take the path of good or evil, but rather fate (represented here by the moon) chooses for them on their sixteenth birthday. An odd, pseudo sexist, splicing of age of consent and menstrual cycle, implying teenage girls are creatures of sanguine whimsy rather than will, although the main character is at least projected as vague counterpoint to that notion.

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