Sunday, 1 November 2020

Movie Review: THE CRAFT: LEGACY (2020)

 


I've been waiting for Blumhouse's sequal to The Craft with some apprehension, as there's so much that could go right and wrong. I'm sure we can all agree that the original is an absolute classic. The wonderfully 90's original earned a cult following and a place in timeless pop culture with it's depiction of teenage outsider girls who are dabbling in witchcraft. It's a coming of age gem packed with memorable scenes and quotable lines. 

This new version was apparently going to be remake, but the powers that be decided to make it a sequal instead. Certain scenes and shots have been recreated as a homage to its predecessor, and as Easter eggs for die-hard fans, but for the most part it feels like a very different movie to the original.

Spoilers ahead.

The Craft: Legacy is a massive missed opportunity. It's so engrossed in being 'woke' that it fails to grasp the elements that made the original so special. I re-watched the original the night before watching the new one, which made its weaknesses even more apparent.

For example, the young witches in the original are flawed and learn about the consequences of their actions. The audience shares their rage, and rejoices in the revenge they take using witchcraft. We all partake in the journey showing us that they'd gone too far and the extent of the damage that they had done. It humanises them and makes us think about ourselves and our actions. However, in the new film, the girls are portrayed as heroes and go around using their powers to right wrongs with no consequences. There's no 'getting it back threefold' rule to keep them in check, or any interesting dynamic like that. 

The story starts with Lily and her therapist Mum moving to live with her new boyfriend and his sons. Unsurprisingly, they're all dicks. Incidentally, all of the men in this film are portrayed as pieces of shit. Anyway, Lily gets her period in class, and the other schoolkids make fun of her, especially Timmy, who is the token alpha-jock bell-end. This leads to the three witches befriending her and making her the 'fourth' witch, like in the first film.

The witches cast a spell on Timmy and turn him into a mega-woke social justice warrior, constantly challenging his un-PC jock mates, which I thought was great fun, and finally gave the film some humour and a little social commentary. 

However, Lily starts to fall in love with Timmy and casts a second spell on him, a love spell no-less. She does this despite knowing that his personality was changed by magic, and in reality he's a total asshole. What the fuck, Lily? Anyway, he allegedly commits suicide. We later find out that it's the evil homophobic toxic-masculinity-soaked evil step-dad who was responsible. Initially, the girls blame Lily for casting a second spell and I remember one of them saying "If we can't do magic responsibly, we shouldn't be doing it at all". How fucking crap are they? Nancy wouldn't have tolerated that shit!

Throughout the film, with the exception of the finale where they burn the now-supernatural step-dad alive (this scene is shit so don't get excited), the witches are a bit lame with their magic. There's one scene where some clearly gay person is being bullied by some high-school bigot, and one of the witches turns the bully's clothes rainbow coloured and everyone laughs at him. It's funny, but I wanted a bit more savagery and vengeance from the movie. Remember in the original when that vile racist bitch's hair fell out. We all loved that shit. There's nothing like that here, sadly. 'Legacy' is far more tame.

'Legacy' caused controversy when it was announced that one of the witches was going to be trans-gender. I'm cool with that, and in addition to some positive inclusivity, gave the story-teller some interesting avenues to go down. However, they didn't explore this dynamic at all. If it wasn't for the one line of dialogue where the witch Lourdes mentions that she's 'trans', I'm sure most members of the audience wouldn't have even realised. Just like the other two witches who aren't Lily, her character and back-story aren't developed at all, and consequently, I found myself not really giving a fuck about any of them. Again, this is another stark contrast to the original, where we get to know the young witches and empathise with them to a degree, so we actually feel something for them as the story continues.

At the end of 'Legacy', in a lame attempt to tie this sorry movie in with the original, we find out that Lily is the biological daughter of the crazy witch Nancy, who, let's be honest. is the star of the original and far cooler than anything or anyone in this sorry new movie.

So, to conclude, there isn't really any Horror here. It makes Twilight look like A Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Aside from Lily, I didn't give a flying fuck about any of the characters. It started off alright but I lost interest after the first 30 minutes. There is no awesome villain like Nancy. There's no-one Goth AF, or anyone girls would want to dress as at Halloween. It's just a badly written, boring movie, cashing in on a cult classic. Fuck. Right. Off.



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