Although receiving a low score of 55% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film continues to be a gothic, Catholic school girl witch coven cult classic!
I don’t know what it is about the 90s that attracts me. Even better, what it is about goths in the 90s that I’m drawn to, but The Craft has everything in it to get you in the Hallowe’en mood.
It centers around Sarah Bailey(Robin Tunney) who has just moved to LA from San Francisco with her father and step mother. At her new school she befriends a group of 3 witches(Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True), with their own life obstacles and torments, who need a fourth witch to complete their coven.
Without spoiling the plot too much, they carry out spells to better their lives but soon enough, the spells they cast come back, even stronger, to bite them in the back. The power they gained also starts to control and turn one of them evil…
Columbia Pictures released this surprise hit in 1996 earning $55 million with a budget of $15 million. It was directed by Andrew Fleming.
What really carried this movie was Fairuza Balk’s impressive portrayal of Nancy Downs. Fairuza Balk was a real Wiccan-a religion that follows witchcraft- when she was cast for this role.
She really took what was being portrayed in the film seriously. Eerily, she actually became ill after being warned against filming the ‘invoking of the spirit’ ritual scene on a particular beach that didn’t like pagan rituals.
Her raw delivery and understanding of this twisted, deep character made the later scenes so shocking and creepy. While The Craft entertains, the audience can easily predict how the plot of this film will unfold as the story reveals itself.
Except the ending of the story blindsided me and everyone else who I force to sit down and watch with me. At the beginning, the girls seemed to have been good people with redeemable qualities but in the last scenes, after everything they went through, I wondered how they could STILL act so evil?
(If you haven’t seen The Craft you probably don’t know what I’m babbling)
Lately, I wondered if they ever were good people. Were they ALL(except Sarah!) evil the whole time?
Oddly enough, self harm and suicide are treated as ordinary, rites of passage experiences almost. When Sarah candidly tells the others she self-harmed, they seem unfazed and remark how “punk rock” it is.
In hindsight, this could be a clue warning the audience that these girls were NEVER Sarah’s true friends. Or perhaps it’s an off-the-cuff response that hasn’t aged well but fitting for 1996.
‘Clueless‘ star Alicia Silverstone and Angelina Jolie screen-tested for The Craft along with 85 other actresses. A Wiccan adviser, Pat Devin, was also employed to ensure accuracy and respect to the practice.
Is it wrong of me to also love this film just because of the kick-ass wardrobe?
5 words; Crucifixes, boots, Vinyl, Sunglasses, Beret. ❤ ❤ ❤