Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
Beautiful Creatures is a New York Times bestselling young adult fantasy novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the first book in their Caster Chronicles series. The other books are titled: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption.
Linda Perez of the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy states “Stohl writes clearly and lyrically,” “the world they’ve created… is so believable that readers will find themselves unwittingly believing in magic.” [“Beautiful Creatures,” Linda Perez, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy (October 2010: Arizona, USA) 54 (2):154.]
This film indicates that Light and Dark Casters are chosen; one her 16th birthday, she will “be claimed for either Light or Dark.” She does not have a choice. How is this different from what the Bible says about the fall of man to sin and mankind’s free will, given by the Creator?
How can I know what is right and wrong? Answer
Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
curses in the Bible
How can we know there’s a God? Answer
What if the cosmos is all that there is? Answer
If God made everything, who made God? Answer
Is Jesus Christ God? Answer
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
Is there an actual place called “Hell”? Answer
Why was Hell made? Answer
Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer
Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? Answer
What should you be willing to do to stay out of Hell? Answer
How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Answer
What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer
THE GOOD NEWS—How to be saved from Hell. Answer
Emmy Rossum … Ridley Duchannes
Jeremy Irons … Macon Ravenwood
Emma Thompson … Mrs. Lincoln
Viola Davis … Amma
Alice Englert … Lena Duchannes
Thomas Mann … Link
Kyle Gallner … Larkin
Alden Ehrenreich … Ethan Wate
Zoey Deutch … Emily Asher
Margo Martindale … Aunt Del
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Warner Bros. Entertainment
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|Distributor||Warner Bros. Pictures|
After viewing a preview for “Beautiful Creatures,” my curiosity was peeked. On the surface, it looks like a boy meets mysterious girl who has secrets. With that as my preconceived notion, I walked in to the movie with another Christian friend. “Beautiful Creatures” opens with boy Ethan’s narration about him dreaming of a girl. He apparently has been dreaming of her for months. He wakes up to the first day of his junior year, and there is a new girl in town. Negative rumors have been swirling about this new girl, who’s the niece of the town recluse, who is rumored to be a devil worshiper. Upon entering Ethan’s life, Ethan is smitten, and utterly drawn to her. This attraction is to the dismay and contempt of some of his classmates and the new girl’s family.
The girl Lena’s car breaks down, and Ethan gives her a ride. After that encounter, Ethan return to Lena’s house to see her. He then meets Lena’s uncle Macon (Jeremy Irons). He then urges Lena to never again see Ethan. This warning falls on deaf hears, as they continue to see each other. Ethan soon learns why Macon doesn’t want them to be together. Lena has a dark secret; she is a “Caster” (a person who can use magic; a spellcaster) or witch, and on her 16th birthday her powers will be claimed for the light or the dark. Not to mention, a curse is looming over her that is destined to push her to the dark side.
This film took a risk in casting to unknowns (Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert) in the leading roles, and I don’t think it paid off. While the acting of the accomplished actors (Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum, Emma Thompson, Viola Davis) was ideal. They played their roles, but ultimately couldn’t carry the film. The plot is so incohesive, I didn’t know what was going on sometimes, to be honest; confusion was my backdrop, which I feel was intentional. I can’t say for sure that having better known actors would have helped, but it would not have hurt. There are some eye-catching visuals that really work, but they couldn’t save this picture.
Where to begin with the offensive material? I’ll start with the outright mockery of Christians and the Christian faith. Christians are portrayed as stupid, bigoted, book banning, uneducated hillbillies. God is denied, Satan is ignored. This film went out of its way to mock Christians, God’s Will and His role in the lives of human beings. A line from the film, “This town has 12 churches and 1 library,” stuck out. The witch casters are shown to be enlightened, smart, better than mere mortals. There are quite a number of swear words 10 a**, s***. Not surprising there are a instances of the Lord’s name being taken in vain. Teenagers are shown deep kissing, and the film alludes to (without showing) teen sexual activity. Also, there is a Dark Caster shown in a very sexually suggestive outfit.
This film is dark—very dark. I was uncomfortable with the witchcraft and anti-Christian themes. There is a running motif of light and darkness, and being claimed for either the light or dark. This theme is empty, since it denies the God of the Bible. Kyle B.M.A. said it best,
“Morals could only have been placed in mankind by a Being who understood, even to a greater degree than men, the difference between right and wrong. This knowledge should lead us to follow the directive Jesus gave in Matthew 5:48: ‘Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect’.”
In other words, we can only know evil because God is the ultimate standard for good. There is a line from Emma (Viola Davis) that states “God created everything, man decides which mistakes are.” This could not be more of a falsehood. Christians does not decide what is right or wrong, God laid that down for us in His Word.
The term sacrifice is also used, but, in the realm of this film and the scope to which it’s used, words like sacrifice, good, evil, light, dark are hollow. Only in the light of the Gospel do we truly understand what those words really mean. John 3:16 says,
I strongly urge avoidance of this film. It attempts to play itself as a boy in love, boy meets girl story, but the love story is completely overshadowed by the anti-Christian, witchcraft practicing and eerie, dark storyline.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy—“G*d-damn,” “God” (2), OMG (2), “hell” (3) / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy
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