By Roxy Tart
There’s a lot to unpack with this film, and so much I want to talk about, but this is a spoiler-free review, and 90% of what I have to say is seriously spoiler-heavy…so, that being said, after you watch this film, if you wanna talk about it, hit me up on social media!!
“We Are The Weirdos Mister”.
The line is iconic. It brings to mind candles and incense and magic and four outcasts finding each other and learning who they are. It was true in the first Craft movie, and it’s true in The Craft Legacy. The continuation of the story is written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones. It’s lighter in some ways (no scares or creepy crawlies), and wonderfully modern, embracing intersectional feminism while bringing up the dangers of toxic masculinity, and talking about consent.
The main part of this story stays true to the original. New girl Lily (Cailee Spaeny) moves to town and is befriended by three “outcast” witches, Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Tabby (Lovie Simone), and Lourdes (Zoey Luna). They get Lily to join their coven and become their “fourth” and find out that together they have the power to make the real magic happen! Lister-Jones changed the family dynamic a bit. In Legacy Lily moves with her mother (Michelle Monaghan) to live with her boyfriend (David Duchovny) and his three sons.
My favorite, and as far as I’m concerned, the best, part of this movie (other than the magic montage which was incredible) is the girls. All four of them do an amazing job bringing their character’s individual personalities to the film, and their feeling of friendship and girl power is easy and natural. Are they outcasts? Sure, kinda, but they don’t make a big deal out of it. Have they each been bullied, yeah of course, but that’s not something they’re gonna dwell on. The group is incredibly inclusive, but the film isn’t in your face about it. Four girls of different races, backgrounds, body types, and beginnings (the inclusion of a trans girl in a movie about girl power is fantastic and something we need more of), who don’t make a big deal about their differences felt very real and very “woke 2020”. These are the kids we want running the world when they grow up.
The big spell in the film is cast on local bully Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine), but it isn’t malicious or evil, it simply brings out his higher self, and the results are amazing. Instead of becoming an enemy, he becomes a friend. Unfortunately, this leads to one of my gripes about the film…y’all did Timmy dirty (I’m looking at you Zoe Lister-Jones).
My biggest issue with the film is that it felt like parts of it were missing, and that came off sometimes like the writing was weak. There was a lot that Lister-Jones wanted to pack in there, and unfortunately with a run time of only 94 minutes that meant there was very little character development, especially for the film’s villain. It also felt like there were no real consequences or urgency, and, like the film’s masturbation scene, there really wasn’t a climax. The final showdown felt very tacked on and more like it should have been in another movie or show.
All that being said, I still liked this movie for what it was; a fun, girl power, anti-patriarchy, witches coming into their own power movie with a cool little (if somewhat predictable) surprise twist. What I would have liked more is if it had been given a chance to stretch and breathe, like as a series instead of a movie. This is a show I would 100% watch, in a world I could get lost in, with characters that I’d love to see grow and flourish.
The Craft: Legacy is out now on digital platforms and in cinemas in the UK on 28 October.