The Craft: Legacy★★☆☆☆
Starring: Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna & Cailee Spaeny
Lowdown: High school witches band together to learn the craft while giving out punishments along the way
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play & Apple
Verdict: Needs more boil and bubble in the cauldron. The last 15 minutes made everything feel rushed with a lot of unknown resolutions.
If you are a movie fanatic, then you have probably watched the 1996 witchy cult-classic, “The Craft,” directed by Andrew Fleming. This movie featured “Scream” actress Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True, and Robin Tuney detailing the coming of age story of four high school girls who practiced witchcraft while also facing personal conflicts within each character subplots. Though being written and directed by men, this movie showed how women could be powerful and independent, which was not portrayed too often in the media.
With 24 years underneath its belt and the formation of a new generation, Blumhouse Productions decided to create a direct sequel to the film.
“The Craft: Legacy,” directed by Zoe Lister-Jones is 94 minutes long, and is also based around four young high school girls trying to navigate their high school lives while practicing the craft. Though this movie is a sequel to the original, it can be seen as a light reboot containing a very similar plot for most of the movie. Original movie fans may be in for a ride with this refashioned story that has different twists and turns from the 1996 version. It was released on Oct. 28 through video demand and premier streaming services.
Once the movie starts, the audience is introduced to three girls, Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Tabby (Lovie Simone), and Lourdes (Zoey Luna). They are seen to already be practicing witchcraft but fail to complete their ritual to freeze time due to the lack of a fourth member. As the next scene begins, the main protagonist, Lily Schechner (Cailee Spaeny), is shown moving into a new town and a new home with her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) by her side. Helen’s boyfriend, Adam Harrison (David Duchovny), greets Lily and Helen at his door and welcomes them along with his three sons. The next day, Lily attends her new school and has her menstrual cycle in class, everyone laughs and she runs to the bathroom for safety. Frankie, Tabby, and Lourdes try to befriend and comfort Lily. Tabby even gives Lily a pair of her gym shorts to clean up. As the movie progresses, Lily’s bully, Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine), is telekinetically smashed against the lockers after taunting her. With this, the three girls see this as an opportunity to finally gain their fourth member and to become embraced in their magic and coven. They are successful; however, they began to make some very bad decisions, which led to heavy consequences.
The movie’s biggest flaw is that it never showcases enough magic. If this is supposed to be a sequel to the original film, you would think that the magical practices would be portrayed a lot more than they were. The film exudes more potion mixing and chanting than it does actual spells and hexes. The famous “light as a feather, stiff as a board” scene from the original movie is shown in a sixty-second magic montage of the sequel among other uses of spells. This is one of the limited times magic is portrayed thoroughly throughout the film. There are instances of other spells and special effects used in the movie, but they are very insignificant and do not add anything to the storyline. Toward the end, their spells turn into superpowers, which really made the film feel like a superhero movie rather than a movie about butt-kicking witches who practice perfecting their craft.
Gender politics, sexuality, race relations, and feminism; “The Craft: Legacy” does a great job in portraying and reflecting upon the many issues and topics of today’s society, especially with the introduction of a closeted character. One particular character struggles with sexuality and keeps it under wraps until coming out as bisexual. This same struggle sparks a very powerful conversation about sexuality in the film, which hopefully, gives audience members representation and inclusivity. Also, there is a strong misogynistic presence in the film, which tries to speak upon the issues of having a patriarchal society. With that, the simple yet powerful formula of four women being the center of attention aims to highlight the power of women and young girls once uniting together for a cause.
The Final Critique
Being that “The Craft: Legacy” is PG-13 and the 1996 version is rated R, I knew the movie would be more lighthearted and family-oriented. There were not any dangerous aspects to the movie that amped up the original to become a classic Halloween film. There are a few surprises within the plot that make the story interesting and different from its predecessor, but it doesn’t happen until toward the end of the movie. By the third act, the conflict of the film was easily resolved and there were many inconsistencies in the plot that were left unanswered. It is recommended to watch The CW’s “Charmed” for those looking for a powerful sisterhood of witches who are all thoroughly developed. Overall, this movie can be disappointing for the fans of the original but can be good for current teens who have not experienced watching the 1996 version. “The Craft: Legacy” is now available on all popular streaming platforms.