Hi, my name is Jen and I was a Twilighter. From the year 2005 to 2012 I was one of the biggest Twilight fans there were. I waited for hours to meet Stephenie Meyer during her Eclipse book tour, I saw all five movies the day they came out, I even visited Forks WA.
I loved the story, the romance, the vampires, all of it. But as the years continued, I was forced to defend my love of it more and more, and was starting to not only hear, but listen, to people’s really good points.
She’s so boring! “Yeah, but…”
He’s a hundred years old! “Yeah, but…”
She’s choosing to have this baby even though it’s killing her! “Yeah, but…”
By 2012 I couldn’t justify it anymore, my friends and family had just too many valid arguments. I awoke from my Twilight obsession and moved on. I found many, hundreds, of other Young Adult novels that featured strong amazing heroines that I will defend to the end of the earth. Like Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, Sydney from Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines, or Ember from Julie Kagawa’s Talon Series.
Fast forward to the year 2018. I was perusing Netflix for something to watch on a normal, nothing-special evening and a movie called Beautiful Creatures popped up on my recommended watch list.
The movie was released in 2013 and based on the first novel in the Caster Chronicles written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I’d read the first book in the series years ago and it was ok, so on this average summer night, I figured, “Eh? Why not?”
One hundred and twenty minutes later I’m sitting dazed in front of my TV. “That was a good movie, like a really good movie. But it was so similar to Twilight. Oh my God, am I having a relapse!?” I re-watched it trying to comfort myself by spotting all the differences. I needed to prove to myself that I was not going back to my Twilight phase of life.
“No, I’m not, cause see it’s told from the guy’s point of view, he’s the mortal! And the girl, she’s 16-years-old and magical, not immortal and a killer! They talk about real stuff, they don’t just stare at each other in blue lighting!” Totally different.
And then I watched it again.
“But they use a lot of the same plot tools like the new girl starting the plot rolling. The magical love interest says being around her could hurt the protagonist, but he doesn’t care. In Beautiful Creatures, the girl is forced to make a sacrifice, like when Bella goes to the studio ready to die in the place of someone she loves.” Shoot, they are the same thing!
This process is still going on. One day I’m fine with this movie, the next it’s the gateway story to helpless females.
I recently had a conversation about my troubles with a friend, well really, I was having a Smeagol/ Gollum discussion with myself and he just happened to be there.
“How could Beautiful Creatures remind me so much of Twilight and yet be so entirely different and better at the same time? How did they both hit so many of the same emotional cords and yet this ‘new one’ doesn’t compromise my personal morals? Is it the world building? The framing of the girl?”
He broke into my self-debate saying, “Why don’t you write about it?”
So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to buckle down and analyze these two movies side-by-side and figure out what the heck is going on. Why am I so entranced by this movie, which shares so many parallels to my addiction of years ago?
Will I figure out the answer to this very allusive question? Will I go mad with all the re-watching and freeze-framing of the movies? Will I fall down a million rabbit holes that have nothing to do with my main objective?
Probably, but let’s find out for sure and journey onward as I compare and contrast these two movies in the hopes of discovering why I enjoy Beautiful Creatures so much when it shares many similarities with Twilight.