Creature comforts

Beautiful Creatures. PA Photo/Entertainment Film.

Beautiful Creatures. PA Photo/Entertainment Film.

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Based on the first book in the Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures is the film that Twilight yearned to be.

Smart, sassy and entertainingly camp, Richard LaGravenese’s supernatural love story is a guilty pleasure riddled with teen angst, mystical curses and ridiculous plot twists as it plays out the forbidden romance of a mortal boy and an enchanted girl.

Here, we’re spared pouting vampires and bare-chested werewolves, and plunged instead into the choking kudzu of South Carolina, where witches –or Casters as they prefer to be called - stare mournfully from magnificent gothic mansions.

Seventeen-year-old Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) is itching to escape the backwater of Gatlin for the big city.

His restlessness is soothed by the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the enigmatic niece of reclusive landowner Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons). She looks exactly like the girl who has been haunting Ethan’s dreams and it takes no time for the love-struck lad to fall for her sullen charms.

Alas, Lena is reluctant to let Ethan into her life because she is a Caster and on her forthcoming 16th birthday, she must take part in a ritual known as the Claiming, which will dictate whether she is destined to use her powers for good or evil.