Halloweek: The Craft (1996)

Happy Halloweeeeeeen! Halloweek, TMP’s celebration of all things spooky, wraps up today with a film that is somewhat of a modern classic (or at least a cult classic): 1996’s The Craft.

“We are the weirdos, mister.”

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) has just arrived in Los Angeles, her family moving into an old villa. At her new school, she struggles to fit in, at first.

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(Image via The Stories of JD and Ivy)

And then she meets the witches. Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Rochelle (Rachel True), and Nancy (Fairuza Balk) accept Sarah into their coven, believing they need four people to complete the “circle.”

Things get complicated, though, when Sarah begins exhibiting powers much stronger than those of her new friends.

The Craft was directed by Andrew Fleming, written by Fleming and Peter Filardi.

This film is a cult classic beloved by ’90s kids and high school goths ’round the globe. Given my own history as an embarrassing emo kid, I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen this movie earlier. The aesthetic and general witchiness would have been right up my alley as a teen.

Watching it now, a good eight or so years removed from my emo phase, I find it a little bit cringey, but still very entertaining. The soundtrack is pretty great. The costumes are top-notch. The girls’ friendship (before it all goes to hell) is fun to watch. Plus it has Skeet Ulrich, and one character owns a jukebox that plays nothing but Connie Francis!

The “be careful what you wish for” premise is very familiar for the genre, but the film carries it out well. I also liked the mix of the usual teen movie tropes (cliques, mean girls, first love) with exploration of more serious issues, like racism.

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(Image via Vice)

The teens were all cast pretty perfectly, too. I can picture no one but Fairuza Balk as Nancy. I liked that they seemed like authentic teens — not just in an “I can relate to them because I was a teenage emo” way, but in their decision-making. It’s very teenaged of Nancy, Rochelle, and Bonnie to want to hold on to the good the circle has brought them, without considering the consequences.

If you like ’90s movies and, like me, have been living under a rock long enough to avoid this film, I’d recommend giving it watch. It’s not super-spooky, but you can’t go wrong with witches on Halloween!

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3 thoughts on “Halloweek: The Craft (1996)

  1. Happy Halloween! The Craft is an excellent movie pick for today, indeed a cult classic. For extra credit, check out Return to Oz, Fairuza Balk’s first outing (as Dorothy Gale), and to some, a creepier movie than The Craft. I did your blog, especially the images of vintage movie posters.

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  2. Pingback: October 2017 in Film – The Motion Pictures

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