Review: With high sorcery, 'The Craft: Legacy' casts a spell

Two dozen years after the cult favourite teenage witch film “The Craft” comes a reimagining referred to as “The Craft: Legacy.”

“The Craft” was once about 4 teenage witches who ultimately became their powers in opposition to each and every different and misplaced the whole lot, leaving the movie with a traditional, conservative message: Don’t unharness your energy. It was once deflating.

Now comes — neatly, its no longer fully transparent. A reboot? A sequel? A continuation and a re-imagining? It isn’t important in any respect. Blumhouse’s “The Craft: Legacy” is a hugely higher, neatly crafted model that is woke, feminist and really 2020. It is the tale’s best possible self.

Director and author Zoe Lister-Jones leaves little nods to the unique 1996 movie — snakes, butterflies, chants and a pagan deity referred to as Manon — however has gut-renovated the valuables and restored the feminine empowerment theme the primary one just about cried out for.

This can be a movie about resistance and sisterhood. One routine slogan is “Your distinction is your energy.” Any other is: “You shouldn’t run out of your energy.” It arrives at a time when the idea that of witches is being reclaimed, simply as this tale has been.

The primary movie starred Neve Campbell, Robin Tunney, Fairuza Cringe and Rachel True. The brand new one stars Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna, widening the circle to incorporate a trans voice.

As it should be, the soundtrack kicks off with an Alanis Morissette track, main a female-centric sonic panorama that comes with Lonette, Princess Nokia, Sharon Van Etten, Nadia Rose and Betta Lemme.

Spaeny performs a brand new lady in a brand new the city, echoing the function Tunney performed in “The Craft.” The brand new lady connects with a coven of 3 fledgling witches who’re on the lookout for a fourth to finish their circle. “So it will be sealed and carried out/When all 4 corners meet as one.”

The foursome deal with bullies however develop in self belief as they start to assert their powers. With a flick of a hand, they may be able to upload face gem stones or set fires or injure a tormenter. Once they levitate a member, they repeat the incantation from the primary movie: “Gentle as a feather, stiff as a board.”

Lister-Jones’ script may be very naturalistic and present — “all of the feels,” “VBD” and “That’s fireplace.” There are “Twilight” references and a cauldron produced from a bong. In a single spell, the witches make a sexist bully all at once very politically right kind and inclined, apologizing for his energy to disgrace. “I’m sorry,” he says.

Michelle Monaghan performs unmarried mother to Spaeny’s personality and David Duchovny, as a possible stepdad, masterfully fills his scenes with a troubling macho spirit. (He performs a motivational speaker who believes energy equals order and is creator of “The Hallowed Masculine.”)

The 4 witches do squabble over how a ways to push their magic — “If we’re no longer going to make use of our energy responsibly, then we shouldn’t be the use of it in any respect,” one says — however solidarity is the answer.

Because it races to its cool supernatural climax — after which a coda that connects it to the primary movie — “The Craft: Legacy” is firing on all cylinders, taking a look again respectfully but in addition appearing how the similar tale in several palms can bounce.

We beg Lister-Jones to do it once more and reclaim and retell extra schlocky fare from the ’80s or ‘90s. What about an up to date “Bizarre Science” or “Dangerous Industry?” Something is apparent: She’s fireplace.

“The Craft: Legacy,” a Columbia Photos free up, is rated PG-13 for “thematic components, crude and sexual content material, language and transient drug subject matter.” Working time: 94 mins. 3 stars out of 4.

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MPAA Definition of PG-13: Folks strongly cautioned. Some subject matter is also beside the point for kids beneath 13.

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On-line: https://www.sonypictures.com/motion pictures/blumhousesthecraftlegacy

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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