Written and Directed by Zoe Lister-Jones. Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Zoey Luna, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, David Duchovny & Michelle Monaghan
Let’s see what happens when a movie has no conflict, and how getting mud on his shoes causes David Duchovny to self-immolate from embarrassment.
For those that aren’t aware, The Craft: Legacy is a sequel to the 1996 movie, The Craft. I like the original film, it has bags of charm, is indicative of the ‘90s and has some great performances, especially from Fairuza Balk, who tears up the screen as her character of Nancy becomes more, and more, unhinged as the film progresses.
In preparation for this new iteration, I even watched the original again and enjoyed it just as much as I did when I first saw it more than twenty years ago.
But what about The Craft: Legacy? A sequel after such a long time is always going to be tricky to pull-off correctly. It’s one of those things, that needs to appeal to new fans, without alienating the old ones.
The ‘story’ centres on Lily (Cailee Spaeny), who is moving to a new house, in a new town. The reason for the relocation is because her mother, Helen, (Michelle Monaghan) is moving in with her new man, Adam, (David Duchovny) and his three sons.
So, as well as getting a new step-dad, Lilly is getting three step-brothers too. Pornhub would have a field day with this.
Whilst at school, Lily meets three classmates in the form of Tabby (Lovie Simone), Frankie (Gideon Adlon) and Lourdes (Zoey Luna).
It transpires that the girls are all witches with magic powers, which leads to, well, absolutely fuck-all.
Let’s just cut to the chase because just like a pensioner with an unexpected boner, I can only keep this up for so long.
This movie is awful.
Writing about it is painful, as it means I have to recall the damn thing. I feel as though I will need counselling for PTSD once I’ve finished.
Calling this a movie is being pretty fucking generous, to be honest, because the biggest sin, is nothing happens. If I were going to represent it accurately, I could have just posted the title, the rating, and then have left the rest of this blank. Because this is a film in which nothing happens.
There are now going to be spoilers, as I am going to try and spare you from watching this vacuous mediocrity.
The girls have magic powers from the get-go, so nothing there to expand on - unless I mention the fact that there’s a magic-powers-using montage. Yup, that’s how bad things are.
There is no group conflict. The girls simply get along. Well, at one point they feel a little bit sad and guilty about something, but that’s it.
There is no real adversity. One kid at school is slightly dickish, so they use magic to make him into some woke arsehole. I thought he was one-dimensional and uncharismatic to start with, but they somehow managed to make him even worse. I’m going to channel my inner Johnny Lawrence here and go so far as to say that they turned him into a pussy.
There is no character growth; they have powers, use them a bit, and that’s it.
There are also story points that come from nowhere that turns out to be meaningless.
It turns out that Nancy is Lily’s mum. That means nothing for the story because that particular thread leads nowhere - other than a brief cameo from Fairuza Balk. She is on-screen for about 10 seconds and says about 4 words.
Lily’s stepdad wants to steal her power, for some reason. He decides to get it by; letting her meet other witches, and thereby gain herself allies. He then gives her time to learn to use her powers before deciding to confront her. Rather than kill her the first time he meets her.
Oh, and speaking of stepdad Adam. Other than Duchovny spending the movie just looking as though he’s really tired of this shit, the final confrontation is farcical beyond belief.
Brace yourselves, because here’s a magic showdown the likes of which you won’t believe.
So, Duchovny gets soil on his shoes, and then he gets encircled by fire. Presumably, he then burns, but we don’t see anything, just an aerial shot, of fire. So I guess he burned, or maybe just died of boredom and shame. Probably the latter.
Now, you could argue that I’m just old and grumpy, that the film is woke, and I’m too set in my ways to understand it. And you know what? You’re probably right.
I don’t get it. I don’t get why someone would make a movie in which nothing happens. I don’t get why there are scenes that lead nowhere; like the bit with the sleepwalking brother. It happens once and is then ignored. It wasn’t mentioned before and never happens again. It felt as if it was thrown in as an attempt to add something creepy. In which it failed.
And, I don’t understand why a group of people would click their fingers as an alternative to clapping, or why Lily’s mum would sign her texts with “yr mom”
And yes, these may sound like petty gripes, but this movie has wound me up with how utterly banal an experience it is.
It’s the same with scenes present in the trailer, that were missing from the finished product.
The photo of Nancy wasn’t there, and the “we are the weirdos” line, was used in a completely different scene, with a completely different context.
Now, these could be on the cutting room floor somewhere, but I think it’s more likely they were filmed to garner some interest from fans of the original. Their omission doesn't make sense otherwise. If that is the case, well, what a dishonest and shitty thing to do to get people to watch your poor excuse of a movie.
Earlier, I mention that the girls just seem to use magic, right at the start of the film. Well, how about this. They can freeze time. They sit down, try the spell, and it just works. Effortless. No trial or error, and no learning curve or character growth involved.
And what do they do with this amazing power? Nothing. They use it once in the montage, and that’s about it. It’s a complete waste and another thing that has no consequence or worth. They didn’t earn it. It just happened.
I could go on and on like this at length (and yes, I realise that I have already) about how bad a movie this was.
Instead, I’ll just wrap things up.
I don't like this movie.
It was so bad I had to take a break from it at around the 35-minute mark. Then, when I went back to it, it still managed to bore/annoy me immediately. I had to stop again just after the 60-minute mark, for the same reasons.
I found it painful to watch. By the time I finished, I was starting to get a migraine, and I even awoke the following morning with a headache. So fuck it, I will blame The Craft: Legacy for that, because why not.
It’s officially migraine-inducing bullshit.
Now, I’m sure some people enjoyed it. We are, after all, a diverse bunch with very different tastes, and it would be boring if we shared the same opinion.
And that’s what a review is, it’s my opinion.
It's just that mine is that The Craft: Legacy is the equivalent of an employer who hires staff based on their diversity, rather than their actual skill or ability. And by the end of it all, it’s too late when they realise that they have no viable product.
There was no personality to the characters, no conflict, no nothing.
Actually, let me change that. There was conflict but, it was my inner turmoil over whether I should continue to watch this turgid mess or instead slowly crush my head in a vice.