The Craft: Legacy is far from "bewitching", according to first reviews

Dan Seddon
·3-min read

From Digital Spy

The first reviews are out for The Craft: Legacy, a sequel/reboot of the 1996 cult classic about teenage witches.

With actress and director Zoe Lister-Jones behind the camera this time around, hopes were high, but it hasn't cast its spell on the critics, who believe it "lacks a bewitching quality" and suffers by comparison to the original.

Below we've conjured up some of the early reviews for you to check out.

Photo credit: CTMG - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: CTMG - Sony Pictures

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Entertainment Weekly

"For all its good intentions, the glossy production comes off like a feature-length episode of a network teen drama; nary a frame hints at the arresting energy of the edgy sleepover staple.

"That dirty word, Legacy, is right there in the title, so there's no separating this movie from its predecessor. Invoking that nostalgia will certainly draw some viewers, but the link mostly hurts the new film, considering how mild it is in comparison to its inspiration."

Variety

"In theory, it gives fans of the earlier film something to guess about, but there's not much else for that generation to connect with. If anything, this decades-later sequel feels like the kind of stale Party of Five-style YA programming that the relatively punk 1996 film was reacting against when it cast a pre-Scream Neve Campbell as the bad girl.

"The original Craft may be a mess, but it does have a legacy, and this ain't it."

Photo credit: CTMG
Photo credit: CTMG

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The Hollywood Reporter

"There are few if any scares here, right up to the anticlimactic final face-off where the witches strike back not so much with incantations but with what seem more like wannabe superhero moves. They're more low-key X-Men than Hex-Men.

"Aside from composer Heather Christian's cool techno theme on the end credits – which is far more memorable than the timid scoring throughout – Legacy left me less than spellbound."

The Guardian

"It's a bold and heady brew and one that will provoke ire from those who roll their eyes at the word 'woke' but it's one that proves intermittently intriguing while always ambitious, a refreshingly thoughtful, if flawed, alternative to a lazier rehash.

"There's so much here, too much here, that while being impressed at times, I left feeling undernourished, like I'd fallen asleep and missed a chunk of the film. The witching season is back but I wish it could have lasted a bit longer."

Photo credit: CTMG - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: CTMG - Sony Pictures

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The New York Times

"Ultimately, this film lacks a bewitching quality. The witches get a music-video-like montage of their newfound powers, but it feels vapid without a strong motive. Gideon Adlon is given the comic relief role, but the other two friends (Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna) are superficially rendered. With that, this new film also recalls the original in its greatest flaw: by under-writing the characters of colour."

The AV Club

"While 'teen witches vs. toxic masculinity' is an appealing elevator pitch, the theme isn't as filled out here as it could be. Neither are the day-to-day struggles of the coven's transgender and Black members, whose identities are affirmed with the depth of a well-meaning but brief social media post."

The Craft: Legacy, which also stars Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny, is out now in the UK and US.

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