Riley’s review published on Letterboxd:
When I was a kid, and honestly through high school, which is much too old, I didn’t care for the later installments in this series, because they got darker and drifted away from fun Hogwarts life, and all I wanted to explore was the everyday life of students sitting in class and hanging out in the common rooms and learning about their wizarding world full of charms and dark arts. Now, we have Harry Potter theme parks, which let me experience some parts of the lives of this world, and Fantastic Beasts, which explores the history of wizards, the world outside England, and the wildlife that exist for wizards. Now that we have these other outlets for me to learn more about this world, and now that I’m an Adult™, hopefully revisiting these stories years later will let me appreciate the developments that the stories and characters take.
As for this movie, I found myself noticing and loving the campiness and absolute ridiculousness of this movie, that to me as a child did not stand out. Motivations and results for actions are wild and contrived and I love it so much. And this movie wears its heart on its sleeve when it comes to the more fantastical elements of riding broomsticks and hiding from scary teachers and interacting with trolls and three-headed dogs and ghosts. It provides imagination for my child self and uncynical fun world building for my 20 year old self.