I’m not entirely sure what to say about “The Craft: Legacy.” It’s rare a film with all the foundation already laid, yet somehow manages to miss the mark on just about every level. From its unintelligible plot to its poor character development, “The Craft: Legacy” attempts to be a sequel and a reboot, but ends up failing at both. Even if you were to remove your nostalgic goggles for “The Craft,” and view it objectively as a product of its time, you are still left with a competent film.
The sequel, however, isn’t even that. To be frank, “The Craft: Legacy” is an absolute mess, one that attempts to loosely connect itself to the original while simultaneously attempting to update it for a modern audience, the end result being a film for neither.
Written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Craft: Legacy” begins with a group of young girls attempting to evoke magic by studying The Craft book. There are only 3 of them, and in order for it to work they need a fourth. Luckily for the girls, a new girl named Lilith arrives and demonstrates an affinity for magic. Together, the girls develop a bond of sisterhood as their powers grow. Lilith has moved in with her new step family, and slowly begins to realize that not everything is as it seems in this new house, and her gift may have a deeper connection to the past than she ever knew.
I’ve been rewatching “Ally McBeal” recently, and since I’m finding it difficult to articulate all of my issues with “The Craft: Legacy” it can be summed up by a simple Peter MacNicol’s catchphrase: I am troubled.
The film leaves viewers with more questions than answers, and never seems to strike a comfortable balance between giving nods to the original while also trying to tell its own story. What’s left is a desire to have it lean one way or another; either it’s a complete remake or its own film altogether. Zoe struggles to tell any one story, making “The Craft: Legacy” so muddled in its story telling it’s almost impossible to understand. It’s as if Zoe Lister-Jones wanted to explore new ideas, but was constantly reminded she’s making a sequel.
With an overabundance of subplots with no pay off, this film wastes all of its time starting and stopping plot threads it forgets some of the most important elements of its predecessor. For instance, Lilith (Cailee Spaeny) is the only one of the four girls we learn anything about. I can’t even recall their names, and they serve as nothing more than a plot device and check mark on the list of similarities to the original. Even Lilith her self is merely a checklist item, and excuse to connect the two films in a way that hurts my head trying to make sense of it. Even David Duchovny as Adam can’t bring enough to the role to matter. It’s not even that the film is poorly acted, as the four sisters do fine with with little they have to do.
“The Craft: Legacy” is a major misfire for Blumhouse as well as distant sequels no one really asked for. Despite its attempts to modernize weirdos and promote girl power, the film’s indecision to tell a coherent story ultimately makes the whole viewing experience lackluster at best. I could write an entirely separate review with nothing but questions the film left me with, which is how unresolved and underdeveloped the story and characters are.
When it comes to “The Craft: Legacy,” I bind you Hollywood, from making anymore Craft sequels or reboots.
You can see the film for yourself on Amazon Prime.