Beautiful Creatures

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday this year, the typical Friday release date is being bumped up a day for audiences looking for a way to spend the holiday—whether they’re on a date or not. For younger audiences, Warner Bros. is hoping to attract young adult readers with the newest film based on a supernatural teen-lit series, Beautiful Creatures. The story centers around the romance between Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), a small-town boy wanting desperately to escape to a bigger world, and new girl in town Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), a Caster (essentially a witch) struggling with a process that will determine if her powers will be used for Light or Dark.

Look: I get that studios feel they’ve tapped into a goldmine of material in the teen-lit market, thanks to the film success of Twilight and The Hunger Games (along with small-screen successes The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl). Watching Beautiful Creatures, though, I hope that the studio isn’t banking on huge successes for this series. As much fun as it is to bash the Twilight series, at least the films are so bad that they’re fun to watch. By comparison, Beautiful Creatures is largely boring. If you think Kristen Stewart was boring, you’ll want to avoid Alice Englert’s performance here. And while Alden Ehrenreich comes across better, I do have to say that his Southern accent is too stereotypically thick to be believable. The film’s saving grace comes from a well-picked supporting cast, which includes Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum and Viola Davis. Still, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this series to be the next Hunger Games. Not by a long shot.

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