Sunday, 18 September 2016

Beautiful Creatures

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (2013) is a fantasy romance with a modern styling of southern gothic. Lonely among the god-fearing folks of Gatlin, South Carolina, small town mortal Ethan falls for his ‘dream girl’ Lena, a novice witch whose magic is maturing too rapidly for easy control. Her wealthy family’s waning patriarch, Uncle Macon (camp Jeremy Irons), struggles to maintain a positive influence over present day events, never mind local expectations of a gloomy future, if his worried niece is claimed by the dark side. 

Of course, Lena and Ethan’s fate is linked to a curse that has lingered/ festered since the Civil War. Predictably, the solution to this moral predicament requires a sacrifice (read that as a kind of exorcism) to finally bury its corruptive power. 

Directed with patchy competence by Richard LaGravenese (writer of Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King), the movie’s humour is just as awkwardly false and strained as the comedy sideshow routines in Tim Burton’s quirky Dark Shadows remake. The principal cast are merely adequate, but Emmy Rossum (Day After Tomorrow), shines, and is good fun, as vampish cousin Ridley. The ghost of TV series Charmed, and not True Blood, haunts every twist/ downturn of this Twilight inspired scenario’s drooling sentimentality. This is fantasy with the crusts cut off, so all that’s left is the cotton-woolly insides.  

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