Thursday, February 14, 2013
It seems like an eternity that our society has been obsessed by zombies and vampires. I can't be the only one who's tired of it. So it's refreshing to see a return of that once popular but long forgotten mystical being: the sexy witch. I didn't even remember how much I missed films like 'The Craft' or 'Spellbinder' or 'The Witches of Eastwick' until I saw 'Beautiful Creatures'. Though it's unfortunately not a completely successful return to the genre.
This film is kind of hard to get into. There are lots of characters and it's not real clear who is who and what is what. It's not told in typical Hollywood fashion where everything is spelled out for the lowest common denominator and you know exactly where it's going in the first five minutes. To me that's a great thing. But this one takes some time to get used to and can be a bit boring at times. Though it does have a lot going for it. The cast is an intriguing mixture of fresh faces (Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich), rising stars (Emmy Rossum), and seasoned actors (Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, and Viola Davis). And the art design is beautiful, right out of the Tim Burton playbook, almost as if the sets were borrowed from 'Dark Shadows'.
Truthfully, for the vast majority of the film I wasn't exactly sure if I was enjoying myself or not. But ultimately I feel decent about the experience. This is not a clear cut 'see it' or 'take a pass' recommendation. Think of it as something like 'Dark Shadows' meets 'Watchmen' meets 'To Kill a Mockingbird', but it's really pretty much its own thing. Yet it's more likely to be compared to films like 'Twilight' and 'Warm Bodies', though it's significantly better than both of those. Regardless, I can only hope we're reaching the end of the era of the zombie and vampire and moving on to a different and underused beautiful creature. Long live the sexy witch.