The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
The Craft is one of those films that a majority of horror fans have either seen or are aware of; it’s a film that never truly needed a sequel or a remake, but in the era of constant reboots and belated sequels, we now have The Craft: Legacy.
Zoe Lister Jones is fairly new to the director’s chair with her first effort behind the camera being the 2017 dramedy Band Aid. The Craft: Legacy was previously believed to be a theatrical release by Blumhouse before making its way to VOD for a surprise Halloween release. The film fits right in with its sudden change of plans, as it bleeds with an aesthetic that screams direct to video. The film feels unfinished, paced poorly, and provides almost no opportunity to truly spend any time with our four leads; clearly The Craft: Legacy is a product that was rushed to market before it was ready.
Zoe Lister Jones performs double duty, taking on the position of the scribe as well. Screenwriting indie features since 2009, The Craft: Legacy marks Jones' first major release. The film revolves around a trio of witches looking for their fourth to finalize their coven - which they find in newcomer, Lily. From there the group begins to truly discover their powers and influence the life they lead. The film feels excruciatingly non-consequential, with a lack of anything horrifying happening on screen - sticking with a tame PG-13 rating that is ultimately no match for the original's brutal R rating.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The four witches take center stage, however unlike the original, the individuals that make up the coven are hardly explored apart from our actual lead, Lily (Cailee Spaeny). Not a single element of Legacy lives up to the fantastic characterization of the first. An overabundance of family and high school drama cloud the inclusion of magic, making it feel even less like a Craft sequel as the runtime ticks along. Beyond Lily, the cast of characters are nearly impossible to remember, especially by name.
So much, yet so little is happening at all moments in the film - characters are introduced and abandoned frequently without a second glance. The "family" that Lily has joined is just as unremarkable as everything else the plot provides, with David Duchovny and Michelle Monaghan being completely wasted on unrealized ideas.
THE CRAFT: LEGACY will stand as a useless sequel
THE CRAFT: LEGACY (2020)
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The sound / music department on board never truly made themselves known, with many of the typical horror movie noise tropes being present. Their work neither helped or crippled the film anymore than the story itself was already solely doing.
For fans of the original, The Craft: Legacy will stand as a useless sequel that never needed to exist in the first place. The sequel’s only hope is that its existence will prompt more interest for those that haven’t seen the 1996 cult classic.
THE CRAFT: LEGACY - Now Available on PVOD to BUY & RENT
Visually the film is laughable at times, with certain magic looking so horrendous it makes you wonder how it made it to the final cut. Special effects are used primarily throughout the film to showcase the witches’ growing talent, and it consumes a majority of the film, making a large sum incredibly comedic. Certain visuals are clearly removed from the film with awkward edits or coverage, and this became most noticeable during a scene with a physical used condom prop that is never seen, even for a mere second. It's one thing to tame down the film by initially shooting without the prop in the shot and it's another matter to just block it out awkwardly with post production editing.