The Craft was a 90’s movie showing us the horror of what happens of teen girls misuse witchcraft. Since Hollywood has run out of ideas, someone found this and decided to remake it with new kids. The kids actually look like kids, (though admittedly it could be because I am an old man now.) I went in fairly blind, so there were at least one or two surprised directions things went in for me. Very little of the movie was original, but they were the expected twists from other types of movies rather than the standard “teen witches” twists. That is to say, it wasn’t that things were surprising, it was surprising they were being done in The Craft. Overall, what has Blumhouse conjured up?
The Craft: Legacy
Director and Writer: Zoe Lister-Jones
Cailee Spaeny as Lily
Zoey Luna as Lourdes
Gideon Adlon as Frankie
Lovie Simone as Tabby
David Duchovny as Adam
Michelle Monaghan as Helen
Nicholas Galitzine as Timmy
Julian Grey as Abe
Charles Vandervaart as Jacob
Donald MacLean Jr. as Isaiah
An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers. (From Trakt.)
This was not a carbon copy of the original. It took the world and moved in a new direction, and while keeping the boilerplate is the same. They take the concept of ‘teen girls doing magic’ and does not give us the in-fighting the first Craft did.
The movie isn’t exactly sure what it wants to be. There is some very forced “woke” social commentary, but nothing with any depth. It also feels rushed, as if it started out longer to be shortened into a 90 minute time slot.
Originality: 2/6 It isn’t a question of if this movie is ripping something else off, it’s a question of which of the standard things to rip off are being ripped off. The opening credits start, and it’s jarring that the theme from Charmed doesn’t start. There is some credit for not forcing the audience to watch them learn to cast spells, since we have seen that plenty of times before, and for bringing a surprising new member into the gang in act two.
Effects: 4/6 The effects are convincing, but nothing that stands out as award-worthy.
Acting: 3/6 The inexperience of the kids shines through, but they wouldn’t have failed their acting classes.
Production: 4/6 The movie looks like it was assembled well, though the diversity felt forced; less like gathering a coven and more like gathering the Spice Girls.
Story: 2/6 The story had no depth. The girl and her mother arrive to live with the new dad, who is telling dad jokes, who has three boys, who are busy roughhousing over playing video games. We later find out that Dad is a speaker on modern masculinity. The big event that makes the new girl embarrassed by her new class is getting her period. By the third act, the movie shifts from the predictable movie about teen witches almost to a predictable super-hero movie, instead.1
Emotional Response: 4/6 The characters may be dealing with very obvious, cliched issues, but they are cliched issues the audience has had to deal with as well.
Overall: 4/6 If your a fan of the original, with it’s flaws, this is worth a watch.
In total, “The Craft: Legacy” receives 23/42
1The movie still works if you are a fan of both genres.
Some things I wanted to say but didn’t want to spoil anything. If you watched the movie, then feel free to read, but the little blips of these things happening at all was unexpected and pleasant, so being aware of each before seeing it would definitely make it a lot less fun.
Seeing a boy added to the core group was a surprise, even if he really was just the love interest kind of character, he gets to do the hero walk through the school with them.
Having Nancy turn out to be the mother wasn’t surprising, but I didn’t know they actually got her to make an appearance in the movie.
I also find it fun that it was Nancy, not Sarah, that we follow up on. While expect that is because Fairuza Balk is significantly less expensive to hire than Robin Tunney, Nancy was my favorite character from the original, so that made me happy.
The first act throws a kid watching porn, a used condom, a bong, and later we see a girl masturbating. While each work for the story, I think that if you had gone in a slightly different direction with those things then I could have watched this with my kids and they’d have enjoyed it. That is, you could have gone forward in the story with those things without using a used condom, a bong, or masturbation. (Yes, I could still watch and explain those things, but it would steal the fun from the movie. “They don’t need that.”)
While I wasn’t particularly a fan of the original, it was just interesting enough that I might see its sequel, with sufficiently lowered expectations.
No, the film likely doesn’t need the things you mention, but they’re not exactly foreign to the teen experience.
It wasn’t just that the movie doesn’t need it, it felt tacked on just for the sake of being edgy or getting a higher rating. (Like the boob flash at the beginning of Logan.)