The Craft: Legacy proves early on that it should have been a reboot instead of this convoluted mess. It offers hollow characters intertwined with a script that abandons the appeal of the original. In 1996, the coven was strong and had a purpose, but today it’s watered down and cashing in on nostalgia alone. The Craft: Legacy is another throwaway film from Blumhouse.
The Craft has developed a cult following over the years, but the same probably won’t occur for this horrid sequel. However, there are some treats sprinkled throughout the film, but they aren’t enough to save this trainwreck. Negatives aside, the film does feature an adequate lead performance from Cailee Spaeny, who should have no problem landing better roles in the future. Directed and written by Zoe Jones, the film stars Cailee Spaeny, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Gideon Adlon, David Duchovny, Michelle Monaghan, and Nicholas Galitzine. Similar to the original, The Craft: Legacy follows a group of teenage witches who use their powers to get back at people who have wronged them.
Spaeny stars as Lily, the lead protagonist who is moving in with her soon to be stepfather (Duchovny) along with her mom, Eunice (Monaghan). Lily is a natural witch, but she meets three girls, Tabby (Simone), Lourdes (Luna), and Franky (Adidon), who are looking for their fourth member to complete the coven. Jones’ script never makes sense of why these girls are so eager to do witchcraft. This was a vital component of the original, as each girl had trauma or hardship that lead to them seeking out magic. Unfortunately, Lourdes, Tabby, and Franky are all void of any backstory, so there isn’t much for the audience to connect with. Also, there is a shoehorned plot device to connect this sequel to the predecessor.
The Craft: Legacy’s fumblings rest in its narrative for the most part because Jones never fleshes out any of the girls besides Lily, who is the most likable one from the group. Even if the original film didn’t exist, crafting a narrative about four ladies, and only making one feel important is ridiculous. There are many callbacks to the first film beginning with the opening title sequence and dialogue from it as well. The performances are a mixed bag at best because Spaeny delivers as Lily, but Duchovny gives one of his worst performances to date. There isn’t a single instance in this film that will spark an emotion on his face. It’s as if he knows the material he had to work with was half-baked, so he delivered a half-baked performance. He’s a brick wall for most of the film, and our three other witches aren’t compelling at all.
As mentioned above, there is a shoehorned plot device that is rushed and poorly executed. It is part of many subplots that go unresolved throughout the film, but it’s such a last-minute addition that it will leave viewers scratching their heads. Leaving stuff for the audience to interpret is fine, but typically there’s at least something in the film to point to a logical conclusion. The Craft: Legacy doesn’t offer a single clue for how we end up at the revelation it dishes out. In terms of direction, Jones fails here as well because there isn’t a single moment of suspense or unease even when they should be present. The film feels void of any emotion from start to finish. The cinematography from Hillary Spera is suitable, but another negative is some of the editing decisions and the visual effects in certain scenes towards the end.
Regardless if this was a film aimed at a specific demographic or not, The Craft: Legacy does nothing but borrow components from the original and squanders them in the worst way possible. It is not a film that respects what came before, and the execution makes it very evident. The Craft: Legacy might be enough for fans of the original to enjoy, but it is not a good film by any means and should have stayed in the development process.