THE CRAFT LEGACY movie poster | ©2020 Sony/Columbia

THE CRAFT LEGACY movie poster | ©2020 Sony/Columbia

Rating: PG-13
Stars: Caelee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, Nicholas Galitzine, Michelle Monaghan, David Duchovny, Julian Grey, Charles Vandervaart, Donald MacLean Jr.
Writer: Zoe Lister-Jones, based on characters created by Peter Filardi
Director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Distributor: Sony/Columbia
Release Date: October 28, 2020 (theatrical, VOD); December 22, 2020 (DVD, Blu-ray, digital)

BLUMHOUSE’S THE CRAFT: LEGACY is a sequel to 1996’s THE CRAFT. Both films deal with teenaged witches.

The difference is that, in the original, young women getting together and finding their power resulted in divisiveness and death. THE CRAFT: LEGACY, however, is nothing if not woke. The result is something much more charming and less scary than an episode of any supernaturally-themed CW series that may come to mind.

Lily (Caelee Spaeny) and her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) are new in town. Helen is moving in with her boyfriend, motivational speaker Adam (David Duchovny), and his three teen sons. Lily isn’t really comfortable with the set-up, but wants to be supportive of her mom, who believes she has found true love.

Meanwhile, Lourdes (Zoey Luna), Tabby (Lovie Simone), and Frankie (Gideon Adlon) are three high school would-be witches who are painfully aware that they need a fourth member of their little coven if any of their spells are going to work.

When Lily arrives at school, it’s not long before she has a CARRIE-esque moment of embarrassment in the classroom. Instead of tormenting her, the trio come to her aid. When Lily inadvertently displays some power, the other three are thrilled.

Lily is happy to finally have some friends, and all four are delighted when they realize that they can do honest-to-Goddess magic. What starts as a prank to punish a jerk classmate takes a turn when the boy, Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine), proves to have real heart and personality under his initially crass exterior.

It’s about an hour into THE CRAFT: LEGACY before anything remotely horrific rears its head. The plot moves forward with some thriller-type menace, but it’s clear that director/writer Zoe Lister-Jones has her heart with the joy of outsiders banding together and finding themselves. Costume designer Avery Plewes is especially attuned to the bursts of color and individuality expressed in how the young women clothe themselves.

THE CRAFT: LEGACY is genuinely diverse. Lourdes is transgender, a fact mentioned twice in passing and not a source of concern for her or anyone else. She is also Latinx, Tabby is Black; some supporting characters are gay and/or bisexual.

Given all of this, it doesn’t take much to guess where the real danger lies, or how it will ultimately be combatted. The messages here are writ large, but at least they’re not much in the dialogue. We are shown, not told, what matters.

THE CRAFT: LEGACY is a lot of fun for people of a certain mindset, even if they’re older and maybe especially if they’re younger than the main characters. It’s energetic, it’s endearing, it’s delightful. It just isn’t what it advertises itself to be: a horror movie.

Special features on the DVD/Blu-ray release include four alternate/extended scenes and two making-of featurettes.

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