So it comes to pass that the Blumhouse team attempt to breathe new life and awaken the magic that stirred genre-movie fans of yester-year whilst rekindling a whole new generation into the fold.
It’s a move they’ve done on several occasions now and more often than not their trick has succeeded. Whether it’s a straight up sequel/reboot such as Halloween, The Invisible Man or a reinvention of comedy gold with Happy Death Day or Freaky.
Among the successes there have been some misfires though. Notably the recent releases of Black Christmas and Fantasy Island. Despite this, Blumhouse continues to pull in the numbers and attract new blood into the folds of teen horror.
So it’s no surprise that they should turn their attention to mid-nineties movie The Craft, which similarly tapped into the pulse of the young generation at the time and formed a cult status in the process.
What’s more, the promise of a female coven of witches would similarly create further space into a story presented with a female gaze. The film itself, much like it’s namesake, would follow a teenage girl, in this case Lily (Cailee Spaeny) moving into a new school and feeling cast as an outsider only to form a friendship with three other misfits (Frankie, Tabby, and Lourdes) igniting their inner witchery, beginning with the power of telekinesis. As the rest of the film unfolds, it soon becomes apparent that they may have pushed things too far.
There is further promise too as the momentum builds around a domineering paternal figure, Adam (a welcome performance from David Duchovny) who lords over his three sons and Lily’s mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan).
So, it’s a shame that it falls short of this potential and fails to build on the shoulders of its predecessor. It could so easily lend itself to a tale of womanhood and an awakening of empowerment but instead the creative team feel content with a middle of the road narrative that is all sparkle and no shine.
There are some moments of glimmer in the performances, especially from Spaeny, who more than captivates in her lead role, but without that extra attention of plot and character development, The Craft: Legacy drifts away from the sphere of its audience’s attention.
A chance squandered to rejuvenate the tale of young witches coming into their own. We’re presented with a half-baked potion that never really lands with its delivery, coasting on the tailcoats of the original film and sadly lacking in any atmosphere or charm.
It’s only saving grace comes in the final scene with a wonderful nod to its predecessor, but by then, it’s all too little too late.
- Saul Muerte