The Craft: Legacy

  • 28 Nov - 04 Dec, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Sony's trailer for The Craft: Legacy makes the film look less like a sequel than an updated remake of the teen fantasy that drove legions of us to worship at the dark altar of demonic sorceress Fairuza Balk. The first movie was an outsider revenge tale gone awry, an ensemble piece about four young women drawn as distinctive characters with troubled backgrounds.

Here, the main focus is on the domestic drama of Lily, whose birth name we later learn is Lilith, making her the actual gateway into the magical universe. Lily and her single mother Helen are freshly installed as a blended family with Helen's new man Adam and his three teenage sons, Isaiah, Jacob and Abe.

First day at her new school, three of her classmates – Frankie, Tabby and Lourdes – spot the four-quadrant pendant around her neck, they intuit that Lily is the compass point they've been missing. Lily is unaware of her gift, but when douchey jock Timmy mocks her and she slams him into a locker with superhuman force, their collective craft suddenly starts cooking.

All this is quite enjoyable, and the women are appealing if under-developed. But it's over as soon as it's begun, without ever providing much intimate knowledge of them. The lack of character nuance is disappointing.

Their spell to help obnoxious Timmy locate his better self works wonders, turning him overnight into the poster boy for woke sensitivity. He reads Janet Mock, rails against heteronormativity and reveals a secret that is this movie's most interesting twist.

The real tension is focused not at school but in Lily's new home, where visions of snakes have sent a chill down her spine since arrival. Adam is a successful author and lecturer specialising in the crisis of contemporary masculinity. But it doesn't take his mansplaining rebuke of Lily over her act of violence against Timmy to figure out he's an unreconstructed masculinist in disguise. This is where The Craft: Legacy flounders, since Duchovny can do smug and creepy, but he's out of his depth with anything more demanding.

Lister-Jones does at least have the good sense to bring the entire quartet back into play and late developments tie the plot directly to that of its predecessor, complete with a tantaliSing cameo that won't be revealed here. But all in all Legacy left us less than spellbound.

– Compilation