Title: The Craft: Legacy
Director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Writer(s): Zoe Lister-Jones, Peter Filardi (based on characters created by)
Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Michelle Monaghan, and David Duchovny
Production: Columbia Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, & Red Wagon Entertainment
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release date: 28 October 2020
Run time: 90 mins
Rating: 3 stars
A lot has been said about The Craft: Legacy that it’s difficult to pick a starting point. From the get go, I was uneasy about this movie. When it was announced up to the moment the first trailer hit television. My expectations were not high.
Because of the pandemic, I wasn’t about to go out and watch the movie. I needed to make the decision – buy the film and watch it during my October one-movie-a-day marathon, or just ignore it until the physical copy can be obtained? I, of course, opted for the former, risking the 20-something dollars.
Like so many self-proclaimed, disenfranchised youths in the late 1990s/early 2000s, The Craft held a special place in my heart. And like most “gothy” kids, I had an attraction for the occult. I purchased The Witch’s Magical Handbook by Gavin and Yvonne Frost and a copy of The Book of Shadows by Lady Shelba at Waldenbooks.
The Craft was the height of my adolescence, so anything that may besmirch it didn’t fall into my better graces. Only I realized that made me on par with every “go woke, go broke” Star Wars pinhead, I decided to give the movie a chance. I made the purchase.
There is so much I wanted to from this movie, but little was given. The film spent most of the time recalling what made the first movie – excuse the phrase – magical, rather than building its own hype. We saw the girls practicing magic for the first time which brought on butterflies; we have an asshole love interest that gets a spell place on him to be kinder; the foursome walking the hallways of school in an ultracool way; and who could forget the zinger of a line – “We are the weirdos, mister?”
This movie spent more time trying to get geezers like me to enjoy it, it completely forgot its true target audience: the current self-proclaimed, disenfranchised youth.
However, when it wasn’t forgetting them – because, of course, it did cram in the social justice today’s youth fights for – it downright insults them. The witchy “social justice warriors” are mere caricatures of the movement. Almost as if Zoe Lister-Jones spent more time researching the wrong side of Twitter to see what kids today truly care about.
What we get in this movie is a paint-by-numbers, one dimensional cast of morals and characters that they’re easily forgettable by the time the big reveal is shown at the end.
At times, when the movie remembered to world build, it almost felt like two different franchises coming together as one. Hints of The Covenant can be seen sprinkled throughout. Of course, the movie does nothing with this except set up an MRA-esque antagonist that leaves more questions than it gives answers.
Subplots and relationships are introduced and dropped just as quickly. Lily seems to build a relationship with her younger, soon-to-be step brother but nothing comes of it. We don’t even get closure on several of the key characters featured in the movie after the big fight.
Because the film spent so much time playing fan service, the ending feels rushed. And once the big reveal is brought on, we’re so packed with questions we forget to ask – “If she is Lily’s mother, then who is her father?”
The movie isn’t terrible, but it isn’t good. I enjoyed it and will watch it again – and not just because I purchased it. Perhaps in a re-watch, my opinions may change. Perhaps for the better, for perhaps for the worst.
I wish Lister-Jones spent more time creating a story rather than trying to win The Craft generation over, and I hope that Blumhouse produces another sequel to tie up any loose strings and answer the unanswered questions left by this movie.