While a coven of teenage witches awaits their fourth member, Lily and her mother, Helen, move to town to live with Helen’s new boyfriend, Adam, and his three sons. After an embarrassing incident on her first day at school, Lily is befriended by the witches Tabby, Frankie, and Lourdes. The girl’s bond, call the corners, test their magic and welcome Lily into the coven. But after putting a spell on Timmy, a bully at school, they not only open his mind to his full potential but he also reveals some truths that he’s kept hidden. His new found way of thinking is brought to Adam’s attention leading to deadly consequences for Timmy and the coven.
As The Craft is such an iconic cult classic, it is no surprise that there would be a film to follow on from it. With witches, the supernatural, and female friendship being the themes, a story to continue the legacy of the original would work all too well in the current climate, or so you’d think. This is a film of two halves, the first being intriguing and a little bit exciting, the second taking a nose dive into murky waters. New mysterious girl moves to town, she has secrets she doesn’t even know about herself, meets three very open, progressively minded witches who don’t have any ill intentions in mind does come across slightly bland, but the montage of friendship and magic blooming is fun to watch. It’s already a third into the film before the girls kick start the plot when they take revenge on a bully by casting a spell to make him see his full potential. Overnight, he transforms from obnoxious idiot to feminist woke-esque dream boy who opens up to the girls about a kiss with another boy. But then, plot twist and not the good kind, he’s dead the next day.
The story then descends into nonsensical moments strung together with loose threads that never really pull together. The girls fall out, contradict themselves about spell casting on others, then over compensate for their mistake. There’s little investigation into how and why Timmy died. Lily even becomes side tracked when she finds out the truth about her parentage. Every major moment in the film is jumbled together and thrown in at the end. The villain of the film is ‘revealed’ far too late in the film and the ‘big’ showdown is rather pathetic. The witches call the corners but we don’t get to see these elements at work. All we get is fire, for some reason, and that’s not even Lily’s element. The end is not all lost, however, with a cameo from one of the original cast members appearing at the end. But it is literally just a few seconds and it’s not enough to save the day.
With Zoe Lister-Jones at the helm and on writing duties, this should have been more exciting and compelling to watch. Somewhere along the road to bringing this story to the screen, the screenplay feels as if it was hacked to pieces by different people. The four main witches: Cailee Spaeny (Lily), Gideon Adlon (Frankie), Lovie Simone (Tabby) and Zoey Luna (Lourdes) are fun to watch to a certain point, but more time with them would have been better. They each have personalities that barely got a moment to shine. One of the weakest elements of the film is David Duchovny who looked bored throughout and barely made a convincing effort, making his scenes off putting.
Spending too much time trying to tick all the progressive boxes, The Craft: Legacy woefully misses the mark in what a sequel needs to follow a cult classic. This is such a shame as the first half had potential and lost its way completely by the end.
Dir: Zoe Lister-Jones
Prd: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Jason Blum
Scr: Zoe Lister-Jones
Cast: Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, Michelle Monaghan, David Duchovny
DoP: Hillary Spera
Music: Heather Christian
Running time: 97 minutes
The Craft: Legacy is available now on Blu-ray