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The Craft Legacy poster

The term "cult classic" gets thrown around a lot and its meaning has changed somewhat over the years. For the most part, it now means any movie that was not widely embraced during its initial release but has found a loyal and vocal audience in the time since. Usually, that audience slowly grows over time as new generations discover the film for themselves. Such was certainly the case with 1996's The Craft. The movie always had some elements worth celebrating, but it's one of those movies that even if you've never seen it, you're probably familiar with it, because you know people who love it.

And in the age of the franchise and studios trying to find success with any title that audiences are already familiar with, it was essentially inevitable that we would re-visit The Craft in some way. That day has now come in the form of The Craft: Legacy, a new film starring a new cast of young actors whose characters follow in the footsteps of the original film in that sequel/reboot way that we've all come to know and love. So does the new Craft live up to the legacy? Well, that question is looking a little tough to answer based on critics' reviews.

For CinemaBlend's own Corey Chichizola, the answer is an unqualified yes. He gave the film four stars and credits the film primarily for being its own thing and not trying to simply retread the original. From our review...

The film is sure to get its share of naysayers, given what the original movie means to so many of us. In some ways it lacks the same grungy edge, but style has also changed in the decades since its release. But the movie’s differences are its strength, so those able to embrace that and go for the ride are in for a bewitching experience.

The Associated Press takes a very similar approach to The Craft Legacy...

The Craft: Legacy is firing on all cylinders, looking back respectfully but also showing how the same story in different hands can soar.

And so, it would seem that if you're looking for a sequel that keeps things close to the source material, you might find yourself disappointed. The Craft: Legacy isn't short on references to the previous film, so those that know it will likely appreciate that, but the goal here was certainly to make something unique.

Of course, "unique" doesn't mean the same thing as "good" and many critics think that while the intentions of The Craft: Legacy might have been honorable, the movie just comes up short. There's a feeling from some negative reviews that the movie hasn't so much evolved since the first movie, so much as it has failed to learn the lessons that film had to teach. Entertainment Weekly felt like The Craft: Legacy simply didn't do enough with the strong pieces it had in play. Finding the film to be simply bland...

It’s great to see a mainstream teen movie with a diverse quartet of leads, and where the characters’ diversity does not define their identities (regrettably, the script does little to define any of them either, but it’s equal-opportunity blandness, which is good, I guess).

Variety puts it a little more succinctly...

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

So, depending on your perspective, The Craft: Legacy is either a fresh and modern take on a cult classic or a weak retread that largely misses the point the cult classic made. You can see for yourself by watching The Craft: Legacy on VOD.

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