Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Review of The Craft (1996)

Written by Peter Filardi And Andrew Fleming
Directed by Andrew Fleming

Nancy: "What's going on? Why aren't you dead?"
Sarah: "Manon. He came to me. Saved me. Oh, and by the way. He wanted me to give you a message. You're in big shit. He says you've abused the gifts that he's given you, and now you're going to have to pay the price."

With Halloween around the corner, the next few days I'm going to do some appropriate reviews and one of my favourite movies from the late 1990s was this witching delight as four outcast teenage girls bond and eventually clash over their use of magic and invoking the spirit of Manon to boot.

The girls in question include cynical goth Nancy (Fairuza Balk), newly arrived to LA, Sarah (Robin Tunney) swimmer Rochelle (Rachel True) and scarred Bonnie (Neve Campbell) - the four of whom get deeper and deeper into the art of magic, first with some small spells and then others resulting in death and a nasty fellow student losing her hair.

The big story in the movie however was the power dynamic between Nancy and Sarah. It seemed subtle at first but it's really there from the moment the two of them interact as the former succumbs to the darker side of things while the latter - the more naturally gifted witch is forced into conquering some deep seated fears in order to save herself and overthrow Nancy too.

Out of the four main characters, it is the rivalry and contrasts between Sarah and Nancy that fuel the movie and the way it at times impact both Bonnie and Rochelle. It's a superbly cast movie with some truly terrific performances from both Tunney and Balk and it certainly has tackled witchcraft far better than more recent movies.

The rest of the characters though don't have much to do, other than fill in certain tropes or in Chris's case also get killed off in a suitably nasty way by Nancy but given the charms off the four leading ladies, I really don't find that much of a bad thing to be honest.

- Needless to say, a remake of this movie is currently being planned.
- Fairuza Balk is (or was) a Wiccan in real life while this movie was being made.
- Prior to it being the theme for Charmed, the Smiths song How Soon Is Now was used in this movie.
- During the invocation scene we see Nancy with a snake, Sarah with a budgie, Bonnie with a butterfly and Rochelle with a clown fish.

One of my favourite movies and certainly one with one of the more darker takes on witchcraft, The Craft is a superb movie, led brilliantly by all four actresses in question and in my honest opinion, something of an underrated gem as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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