Now that the Twilight movies have wrapped, there's a little room in the world for a new supernatural teen romance, and Beautiful Creatures nicely fills that void. Romantic, fantastical, and, yes, slightly cheesy, the movie depicts the love story between Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena (Alice Englert). She's a caster (in common parlance, a witch), he's a mere mortal, and they both live in the sleepy, suffocating Southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where not much happens. That's why the largely religious community takes such an interest in Lena and her suspiciously strange family (which includes Uncle Macon, played by Jeremy Irons). It's also why the relationship that blossoms between Ethan and Lena is so exciting — both for their characters and for the audience.
Based on the young-adult book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures doesn't bring anything too new to the already-inflated supernatural genre, but there is enough to set it apart. Aside from distancing itself from the usual vampire and werewolf fare by focusing on witches, the female character isn't the damsel in distress; she has to cast spells to keep her human love interest alive amid her family's powerful magic. There's an extra layer of intrigue since Lena is also hurtling toward her 16th birthday, when she'll be chosen to be a light or dark caster. If complicated young love is your thing, then you'll be spellbound by Beautiful Creatures. Keep reading to find out why.