Wednesday, 28 October 2020

The Craft: Legacy (Movie Review)

Keeping with Hollywood's fetish for resurrecting old properties, Blumhouse serves up its latest release, The Craft: Legacy. The film is itself a sequel to the 1996 film, The Craft, though one could argue that it also functions as a soft reboot. The original film told the story of four teenager girls who dabble in some witchcraft, but end up biting on more than they could chew. And this time around, we have a new group of four teenager girls who, you guessed it, also dabble in some witchcraft.

The movie begins with a girl named Lily (Cailee Spaeny) moving to a new town with her single mum (Michelle Monaghan), to live with her soon-to-be stepfather, Adam (David Duchovny), who has three sons of his own. After suffering a rather embarrassing first day at her new school, Lily is approached by three girls, Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Tabby (Lovie Simone) and Lourdes (Zoey Luna), who come to her aid.

The three girls soon grow to discover that Lily has certain innate abilities, and they immediately move to indoctrinate her into their coven, being gifted witches as well. But as the four of them begin to explore the full extent of their powers, it isn't without some dire consequences for those around them.

Calling The Craft: Legacy a horror film is like calling a bowl of cereal a home-cooked meal. Sure, you can probably get by for a few hours on that one bowl, but it would only get you so far. The same principle applies here, as the movie simply lacks any kind of scares or enough thrills to sustain you through its thankfully short runtime. At best, it is a teen drama with supernatural horror elements. 

And this is in no way an inherently bad thing. I mean, even the first movie tended to focus on the growing tensions between the four girls more than anything else. But my problem with this movie stems from the fact that I didn't find any of the girls in this one that likeable to begin with. We barely get to know them in any meaningful way, and the little we got in the way of fleshing out their back stories was just not enough to give the characters any kind of depth.

But what bothered me the most about The Craft: Legacy is the fact that the film as a whole failed to intrigue in any way, shape or form. It started well enough, adhering to the same basic setup we got in the original film. And some of the teen drama that filled its first half wasn't all that bad as well. But the film quickly veered into unwatchable territory by the time it arrived at the final act, which culminated in a finale that was so underwhelming that it was almost laughable.

I really did try to enjoy The Craft: Legacy, a lot more than I ended up doing. And I was fully prepared to overlook many of its shortcomings too, if only it had managed to justify its existence in any meaningful way, by the time the credits started to roll. But the movie ultimately left me wondering what the point of the overarching narrative was, outside of trying to setup yet another sequel.

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