Blumhouse’s The Craft: Legacy is a soft sequel to the original 1996 movie that perfectly sets up a better direct sequel to The Craft – here’s how.
WARNING! Spoilers for The Craft: Legacy ahead.
The Craft: Legacy is a soft sequel to the 1996 movie, The Craft, and ends up inadvertently setting up a third movie, which would serve as a better direct sequel to the original. While it is an incredible follow-up to the cult classic movie, it created potential for an even better sequel that could directly tie together the original movie and its characters to the present day.
Blumhouse Productions surprised fans by releasing The Craft: Legacy to VOD on October 28, 2020. While this was a major event for fans of the original cult classic, the reveal that Fairuza Balk’s Nancy Downs was connected to the main character was even greater. The movie stars Cailee Spaeny as Lily, a teenage girl who has just moved back to her hometown with her adoptive mom Helen (Michelle Monaghan) to live with her stepfather, Adam (The X-Files’ David Duchovny). During her first day at her new school, Tabby (Lovie Simone), Frankie (Gideon Aldon), and Lourdes (Zoey Luna) discover that she is the fourth person they need to complete their coven, mirroring the events of the original movie. When Lily begins to unravel the truth about her stepfather, she also uncovers a piece of her past that was kept a secret for years — her birth mother is Nancy Downs, an original member of The Craft‘s coven.
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Fairuza Balk’s involvement with The Craft: Legacy was teased when the first trailer released in September 2020. In the trailer, Lily opened an envelope with a polaroid of Nancy inside of it. Zoe Lister-Jones also had her re-enact scenes that never appeared in the movie, but were used as hints towards the big reveal that she was related to the 1996 character. Lily says Nancy’s iconic line, “We are the weirdos, mister.” The Craft: Legacy’s Fairuza Balk cameo perfectly set up a better sequel to the original movie than The Craft: Legacy managed to be — here’s how.
Upon release, The Craft: Legacy received mixed reviews from both fans and critics. While many were hesitant of the movie’s quality based on its PG-13 rating, this was not what caused the divisive nature of the reviews. When cult classic movies are adapted, rebooted, or remade, it’s common for them not to hold the same weight and influence that their original source did. This has been the case with movies such as Dario Argento’s Suspiria, which was remade by Luca Guadagnino in 2018.
Many expected The Craft: Legacy to be a new story that would have subtle attachments to the original, which was what the director initially alluded to pre-release. The movie follows the same basic premise of the 1996 original, where a young girl moves to town, prompting three witches to discover she’s their fourth member. As The Craft: Legacy progresses, it becomes much more original by embracing diversity and modernizing elements from the original. However, the inclusion of Nancy is important. Audiences last saw Nancy in 1996 when she was admitted to a mental institution following the showdown at Sarah Bailey’s house. Since then, she has remained in an institution, experienced trauma, gotten pregnant, and given her daughter up for adoption. While these fill in very particular gaps in Nancy’s history, there are at least 20 years of her life that are otherwise unaccounted for — The Craft 3 could provide answers.
Due to the fact that there is so much of Nancy’s past that remains unknown, The Craft: Legacy perfectly set up the potential for a third movie to uncover more of what happened after 1996 and not just with Nancy, but the other witches in The Craft. Lister-Jones’s movie did not reveal who Lily’s father is or why Nancy is still institutionalized; a third movie would undoubtedly answer these questions, which would be more directly related to The Craft than The Craft: Legacy was. It also offers the opportunity for other original cast members to return to the movie franchise. Regardless of the fact that The Craft: Legacy followed the same basic premise, it did the work to set up a direct sequel to 1996’s The Craft and, even though it wasn’t as successful as fans of the franchise might have hoped, it opens the franchise up for a more promising future.
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