Friday, 30 October 2020

"The Craft: Legacy" review...

Some friends came by today for a viewing of "The Craft: Legacy", and I felt compelled to write a review of the film.  Why?  Because it is shockingly bad, and relevant to the theme of this blog.

I won't hold back - this is one of the worst films I have seen in a very long time, and even though I cheated and streamed it off a freebie site, I still was quite angry.  I am so glad we found it on a streaming site because I would have been livid if we had paid the rental fee for this thing.  Oh my GOD, it looked questionable based on the trailer, but the final cut is appalling.  Please do NOT waste your money on this, because it is a giant insult to the eyes.  Here's what I hated about it:

First of all, I can't imagine Wiccans are ever going to consider this a cult classic.  The first movie was both criticized and loved by witches, criticized for getting principles and effects in witchcraft wrong, inventing a false god (though I can understand why, to avoid a suit if some kid were to go off the rails invoking anything real), and perhaps for a few plot pieces that were slightly problematic, such as the subplot with Chris Hooker the douchebag boyfriend who Sarah Bailey for some reason crushes on, puts under a spell, which later leads him to his death due to Nancy Downs.  Not a perfect film, but a helluva good time that had edge, style, and a delightful meanness that was intrinsically 90s.  That movie was directed by men, which I guess bothered enough people that this one was chosen to be directed by a woman, a feminist, but it's so sanctimonious when it delivers any woke politics that I cringed with every piece of dialogue.  It forgets the rules of effective writing: show, don't tell.  Yes, it would be cool to be woke in a piece about teen witches, but one must weave that into the script correctly, or else your audience will rebel.  I felt almost beat over the head with a lecture while watching this at times, and desperately wanted to wash my mind of its sins with another viewing of the old movie, to take in the delightful cattiness of Fairuza and company, with girls who seemed to have far greater life problems than these underdeveloped characters do, ladies who we barely know anything about, and therefore aren't invested in.  (One girl is trans, played by a trans actress, and there's a line here or there that was done well to imply this about her, but a lot of other things seemed forced and I kind of felt like this film could take its well intentioned tone and shove it.)  While "Sucker Punch" is almost a badly done 3rd wave style feminist piece that also made me angry for its own reasons, this is bad 4th wave feminism.

It's also hokey as hell, but not in a campy way that I can enjoy.  These girls have crazy ass powers, peppered in silly looking CGI, where they can summon flames with their fingertips, glow brightly coloured auras, invoke anime fire orbs, freeze time, and it all felt low budget to me and inconsiderate of what the occult is truly like.  I don't get the sense that this will appeal to anyone except for those who are drawn to witchcraft as a clothing style, not as a serious spiritual path, because there is absolutely nothing here that you can take seriously.  You can't buy that any one of these four girls are developed enough as people to possess even the most basic grasp of magick, so how the hell do these bitches freeze time?!  It was silly enough in the original when the girls did the glamour spell that literally produced an effect leading to the false report of a plane crash on television - here, there's one of the worst film montages I have ever seen, where they pause time in a school lunchroom and frolic around like annoying little shits causing mischief.  Oh god, that montage was terrible, and also - this soft reboot robs so much from the original and it's done so badly that you absolutely can't forgive it.  Fuck it, I'll just say it - unlike the former, this movie has no balls.  Also, editing is sloppy and amateur looking at times, and the dialogue was insulting.

SPOILER: The only thing kind of worth watching, and yet not really, is at the very end where Nancy Downs makes an appearance, but she doesn't even get more than one line, and it means nothing - it's just a Fairuza Balk cameo.  David Duchovny is also in here, but he's this boring MRA type who is clearly the villain, and I just don't find him a good choice for the role.  Making the villain an MRA bro is so add water and stir that as soon as you hear that he's involved in some masculinity empowerment thing, earlier on in the film, you understand that he's the bad guy.  It's that dumb a plot.  Wait - it's barely a plot... it's a series of events that don't really amount to much, fumbling towards a conclusion that doesn't satisfy, it doesn't even amuse, it just enrages you if you spent any money to watch this.  I was angry, and I didn't even pay anything.

I imagine there will be jokes about how this movie is fitting for a year like 2020 - thank god "Bill and Ted Face the Music" was fun (I saw it with friends at a drive in) - also not brilliant cinema, but it was self aware cuteness that was a delightful ode to the original films.  "The Craft: Legacy" belongs at the bottom of a DVD bargain bin with a 99¢ sticker attached to it.  It was about as bad as the "Jem and the Holograms" movie... it was as insulting to the original as the "Neverending Story" sequel movies were to the first film.  My friends and I joked that there needs to be a geriatric witch girl movie - like "Golden Girls" meets "The Craft" original... see some cackling crones getting up to no good.  I would love something like that!  (Also terrible is the "Charmed" series, but that's kind of like a Wiccan soap opera and worth laughing at how appalling it is.  This is another level where you just get irritated no matter what.)

My tension headaches have been bad since that boot to the head - I have been applying liberal amounts of Vicks VapoRub to my temples, but no dice.  That stupid cunt - I hope she gets hers for this.  Honestly, I didn't provoke anything, I stood my ground instead of cowering or leaving, but it was only because I had to wait for my food.  Imbeciles.

-Saraƒin

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