The Craft: Legacy (2020)

The Craft: Legacy
Director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Writer: Zoe Lister-Jones
Sequel to/Reboot of: The Craft
Cast: Cailee Spaeny, Zoey Luna, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, David Duchovny, Michelle Monaghan, Nicholas Galitzine, Julian Grey, Charles Vandervaart, Donald MacLean Jr., Fairuza Balk
Seen on: 11.9.2022

Lily (Cailee Spaeny) and her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) have always been a team. Now that Helen has met Adam (David Duchovny) and fallen in love, they are moving to a new town together so Helen can be with him. For Lily, it may be a chance to start over socially. Instead she has a rather mortifying start at school and is immediately teased by Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine). But her classmates Lourdes (Zoey Luna), Frankie (Gideon Adlon) and Tabby (Lovie Simone) show her some kindness. What Lily doesn’t know yet: the three girls are witches looking for a fourth to complete their coven. And they may just have found that in Lily.

The Craft: Legacy is more an update of the original Craft film than a sequel, and I have to say that it is an update that I appreciated a lot since it rectifies some of the (narrative) mistakes that the first movie made. I really enjoyed it.

The film poster showing Tabby (Lovie Simone), Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Lily (Cailee Spaeny) and Lourdes (Zoey Luna) lying in a circle on the floor surrounded by candles.

On its face, the first Craft film is about very powerful girls. But ultimately, the film turns to punishing girls for their power, seemingly convinced that they can’t possibly handle it (with some ableism thrown in for good measure). The Craft: Legacy gets rid of the misogyny, and instead turns to a critical examination of masculinity. The girls here make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that they should relinquish their power. And the film is pretty clear on who profits if they do relinquish it. Not only that, it shows that men will go to great lengths to take away their power.

It’s a thoroughly updated, feminist message that absolutely caters to what I want to see in movies. One of our coven is a trans girl, calling out the often very “second wave”, biologistic take of witches and magic. When the girls spell Timmy so he aspires to his higher self, he becomes woke, critically examining his own masculinity and turning to frienships with girls. And the queer subtext of the originaly film is turned into actual text here, which is also appreciated

Tabby (Lovie Simone), Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Lily (Cailee Spaeny) and Lourdes (Zoey Luna) getting ready for a party.

One could say that the movie is maybe a little too wrapped up in that feminist take and forgets its story and characters as people a bit over it. But I really can’t say that I minded. While there are tantalizing hints at more intersectional bits (Tabby regretting her lack of Black friends, Lourdes’ being trans that is mentioned to matter-of-factly that it is barely part of the story, although I did like that it wasn’t a struggle for her) that could have been explored more deeply, there are so few films, especially more or less mainstream ones, that wear their feminist hearts on their sleeves, that I don’t want to fault the movie for making this front and center.

The cast is great. The four girls are vivid and their friendships feel real and Galitzine’s Timmy is believeable in both iterations of the character. Duchovny is fantastic as Adam and nails this kind of masculinity cult creepiness. And the soundtrack is also really nice.

In short, I really enjoyed The Craft: Legacy. More cult classics could do with a modernization like this, I think, especially because it’s noteable that Lister-Jones really does appreciate the original, despite its flaws.

Lily (Cailee Spaeny) talking to her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) and her mother's boyfriend Adam (David Duchovny).

Summarizing: lovely.

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