‘The Craft: Legacy’, more toil than bubble


Photo courtesy Sony Production Studios

Lily, Loudes, and Tabby lift Frankie up while playing a game of light as a feather, stiff as a board. In the original “The Craft”, the occult game is a monumental moment for the group of witches, but in the sequel, this scene receives only seconds of screen time.

The sequel to the original 1996 movie, “The Craft”, disappoints. “The Craft: Legacy” betrays the angsty, mall goth-inspired outcasts and replaces them with actors better fit to be in a Rue 21 commercial. The newly released movie missed the mark when it came to magic. At some points throughout the movie, I found myself wondering if this was, in fact, a movie about witches and their craft.

The movie starts off very similar to the original paying tribute to the iconic snake scene, a new girl arriving in town, Lily (Cailee Spaeny), and three witches, Tabby (Lovie Simone), Lourdes (Zoey Luna) and Frankie (Gideon Adlon), attempt to summon a fourth witch for their coven.

On Lily’s first day of school, she starts her period and bleeds through her pants, and after harassing comments from a few boys, including Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine). Tabby, Lourdes, and Frankie first notice Lily during this scene and bring her an extra pair of pants to the bathroom. Lily is hesitant at first but quickly begins to trust the three girls, even eating lunch with them. From this moment on the girls are unrepeatable. 

Fast forward to the next day when Lily lands herself in detention after accidentally throwing a bully, Timmy, against a locker. While sitting in detention, Lily begins to hear her name being called and eventually finds herself in the hallway where the other girls inform her that she is the missing piece to their coven. It is here that viewers find out that to form a coven the group needs a witch from every corner of the map, North, East, West and South. Having four in a coven amplifies the witches’ power and completes the circle. 

After experimenting in the woods with their magic, the girls learn how to freeze time. After this scene, however, everything is quite a blur as it turns into a montage resembling that of a music video. The movie doesn’t reveal much about the girl’s journey, other than paying homage to the light as a feather stiff as a board scene from the original. This leaves me to wonder if the producers were too focused on making it a teen movie rather than one connected to the original, which was about witchcraft. 

One of the only spells the coven performs in the movie is one on Timmy. They want to cast the bully right out of him. The movie falls off the witch plotline and becomes engulfed with the Timmy plot allowing little time for the audience to witness any witchery.

Later in the movie when the spell is almost in full swing, the girls and Timmy play two truths and one lie. In this scene, they mention sensitive topics such as police brutality and LGBTQ+ issues, specifically those of bisexual men. Before this scene, Loudes also reveals she is Trans, and topics such as consent and misogyny are discussed in the classroom. Yet, none of these topics are mentioned again throughout the movie and are swept under the rug. Since I have never experienced these situations, I wonder if the producers tackled these topics appropriately and gave them enough screen time. The producers may have wanted to appear woke to their audience, but using serious issues as text filler sets the movie industry back 10 years.

The rest of the movie was not my taste as it left questions unanswered and felt rushed due to the time spent on Timmy. For those of you who have watched the movie, you can understand my frustration with the lack of information when it comes to the necklace and the cult-like following of Lily’s soon to be step-father Adam (David Duchovny). Not only were there missing pieces to the puzzle, but several missed opportunities as well and poor directing choices.

The producers and writers forced numerous teen slang terms such as “lowkey”, which left the teen audience cringing in their seats. Not only was the use of slang bad, but I am unsure if the costume designers know how teens dress today. Many of the outfits were very outdated and completely ignored the goth setting that the original movie laid out for them. 

Those writing the script also ignored who Lily’s real mom was, Nancy Downs  (Fairuza Balk). There was no indication that Nancy is Lily’s mom since they did not give her any of her personality traits, iconic lines, fashion sense or craziness. It would have been nice to see a bit of the insanity from Nancy’s crooked smile in the original show up (or resurface) in Lily’s face, but once again I was left disappointed. 

Lily was not the only character lacking personality. Although all four girls in the original were three-dimensional with their own struggles and lives, this movie misses that kind of complex character. We never meet the other girl’s parents nor do we even get to know them as individuals. They lack that kind of depth, and the only conversation where we get a glimpse into the girl’s hearts and minds is the scene after Timmy’s funeral where they all agree that power corrupts and they should bind themselves from performing magic, but of course, neither that depth nor binding lasts.

My opinion? Stick to the original.