Written & Directed By: Zoe Lister Jones
Based On Characters created by: Peter Filardi
Cinematography: Hillary Spera
Editor: Libby Cuenin
Cast: Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, Zoey Luna, David Duchovny, Michelle Monaghan, Nicholas Galitzine, Julian Gray, Hannah Gordon
An update to the original movie. A group of high school students form a coven of witches.
The surprise about this film is that it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Though it still did end up being the film that was predicted after watching the trailer.
The film works as a sequel/reboot of the franchise. Even though the characters here are younger than the first film’s original set. The characters are so young that this film feels perfect for its audience of preteen and teenage girls.
The film is never as hard-hitting as the original. This is why in a certain way it feels more like a prequel except for modernizing it and setting up a link to the first film.
This film is more sensitive than the robins land deals more with different issues that are mentioned debut barely dealt with except for the central character. She is being bullied and dealing with a relationship with her new all ape stepfamily abs feeling like she is losing the close relationship with her mother.
Though the film does express the idea of the coven depending on ie. Another and being in tune. Rather than in the original separating and pitting them against each other. This film offers a villain but one who really only becomes a menace at the end. So that it feels like a Scooby-doo type ending.
The film also never quite answers the questions: do the other girls who have been studying magic really have powers or are they only empowered as the lead already has the capacity to do magic unintentionally.
The film does have magic but doesn’t rely on it as much as the original. This plays out more as a coming-of-age drama about female friendship and in a way feminism by the end. Rather than horror or supernatural film.
Even when the coven questions her power, the members trying to make a decision whether to bind them or not is not out of jealousy or a power move. nor because they are being bad and she is shaming them for it. It is after what they believe a careless spell caused and are trying to decide out of responsibility more than anything else.
Again I am definitely not the target audience for this film, but am a huge fan of the original. Luckily This film doesn’t embarrass itself, but it does have a much lighter touch. That could have easily been an episode of ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK or HULU’S INTO THE DARK series. Only it is not as cynical, cruel, or violent as those shows.
So this is a perfect film for young teens. Who wants to watch a film that feels a little more mature and deals with issues that are a little more serious and prevalent in their lives. With a positive message by the end.