Watch: Zoe Lister-Jones on using horror to tackle big themes
Zoe Lister-Jones says she really wanted to “showcase the celebration of diversity” with horror reboot The Craft: Legacy.
The writer-director has diverse leading ladies in her movie, with Cailee Spaeny joined by Lovie Simone, Gideon Adlon and trans actress Zoey Luna as the central witch coven.
Lister-Jones told Yahoo Movies UK that the original movie — released in 1996 — was significant to her because it “gave voice to the other” with its tale of outsider teens developing their magical powers.
She added: “It really allowed for the weirdos to be the heroes in mainstream popular culture. I, for the first time, felt really seen when I watched it and felt empowered and emboldened by it.
“I think in today's climate we need stories that really showcase the celebration of diversity and the celebration of inclusion and that subvert messages I think have been really harmful for so many people in terms of representation in media.”
Lister-Jones brings in numerous themes through The Craft: Legacy, including toxic masculinity, teen mental health and racist violence, as well as references to Luna’s character being trans.
The filmmaker, who has also acted in sitcoms including Life in Pieces and New Girl, said horror and fantasy provide ample opportunities for artists to make points and arguments about the world today.
“I think there's so much room for allegory in genre films and that really allows for filmmakers to play with social commentary in a way that they might not be able to otherwise,” she said.
The 38-year-old added: “There's a way to sort of bury it in the allegory, where it might not feel as overt as if you were trying to tackle similar topics in non-genre categories.
“So it was such an exciting opportunity for me because there were so many things that I wanted to tackle. This just felt like such a gift of an opportunity to do that.”
The film follows the coven as they explore their powers and deal with the consequences of their newfound abilities.
Michelle Monaghan and David Duchovny also star in the film, as Spaeny’s character’s mother and stepdad respectively.
Critics have been split in their response to the movie, with some praising the decidedly modern themes at play and others criticising it for lacking some of the edge of its predecessor.
The Craft: Legacy is available only in cinemas now.
Watch: Trailer for The Craft: Legacy