It’s tough being a teenager nowadays – instead of worrying about acne or being a nerd, it’s now more likely (in movies and young adult fiction, at least) you’re biggest concern is whether the boy or girl you desire is a vampire, zombie or, in the case of Beautiful Creatures, a witch.
Coming along after the end of the Harry Potter and Twilight movie franchises, this teen supernatural drama – based on the first of four planned books – is aimed directly at fans of Edward and Bella who are bereft at the conclusion of their favourite saga and wanting something else romantic and a bit spooky to sink their teeth into.
The couple they have to root for here is popular-but-studious Ethan (Ehrenreich) and new girl in town Lena (Englert). She’s a bit mysterious and in fact is hiding magical powers – the twist is that when she turns 16 she will either be claimed by the light or dark side of magic. Uh oh. Hoping for the dark side are her cousin (Rossum) and her mother Sarafine (Thompson).
More tongue in cheek than the sometimes annoyingly earnest Twilight saga – Thompson and Irons especially seem to be having fun – this has a Southern, gothic setting that looks lovely, and pretty cast members that will no doubt become pin-ups. It’s a bit slow in places, but for teens looking for a witchy coming of age drama will love it.
Is Beautiful Creatures suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The film is aimed at children over 12 and nothing should scare children of that age. Those younger than 12 may find the witches’ eyes scary, and also the scenes in which black brambles cover people to trap them.