Movie #196 2021: The Craft: Legacy (2020)

Much like the majority of sequels, The Craft: Legacy got absolutely slated when it arrived on our screens last year. 1996’s The Craft has such a huge cult following, with many – including myself – seeing it as one of the films that defined a generation. There’s really no wonder, then, why its sequel offended so many upon its release. But is it really that bad?

Legacy begins with lead character Lily (Cailee Spaeny) moving to what is presumably the same town from the first movie. She moves with her mother into her stepdad’s house, where he already lives with his three sons. An outcast all her life, Lily is pleased when three girls at her new school – who quickly declare themselves as witches – want her to join their coven as their fourth, missing witch. Strange occurrences begin to rear their heads without further ado, and the quartet uncover the real villain of the piece… Not to mention the discovery of some personal secrets that have been hidden deep beneath the surface for years.

As a huge fan of The Craft, I’ll admit I was sceptical, like many others… but I actually didn’t hate this! Perhaps some of the criticism that Legacy received was a little harsh, and I’ll attempt to explain why.

It’s true that the plot is pretty much a carbon copy of the original movie but with a more modern edge. However, that’s not to say that Legacy isn’t entertaining. For the most part, it’s pretty obvious where the story is going, and yet it’s still interesting to see it unfold. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it gets right to the point and doesn’t meander around aimlessly for the first 30 minutes. My only issue with the story is with the fact that the purpose of the presence of the three aforementioned sons was never really explained… 

Blumhouse's The Craft: Legacy' Review - Variety

Whilst the four main actors aren’t exactly brimming with charisma, they each serve their purpose and prove to be very likeable in their own right. Of course none of them were going to be Fairuza Balk… but that was a given. For a group of young actresses, they did well with what they had, with Gideon Adlon (Blockers) and Lovie Simone (Orange is the New Black) being the most watchable of the bunch.

Director Zoe Lister-Jones does not do a bad job here either. Despite most of the camerawork and framing being pretty standard, there are some inventive uses of special effects and the music choices were all brilliant. Both such elements allude back to the movie’s predecessor, as the soundtrack and the believable CGI were two of the stand-out factors back in 1996 too.

In short, it does feel as though this movie got a lot of unnecessary hate when actually it’s just a normal teen movie… except the teens are a bunch of witches. I’ve seen some critics say they “didn’t get it” and it was “plotless”, whilst others were pissed that this wasn’t “horror” and if that’s the case, then this movie probably wasn’t made for you. 

The Craft was never supposed to be a horror movie, and if none of this made sense to you, you probably weren’t paying enough attention. It’s actually (in the words of the iconic Lisa Luder) not bad.

The Craft: Legacy is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Performance: 
Cinematography: 
Soundtrack: 
Costume & Set Design: 
Plot: 
Overall Rating: ½

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