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After revisiting my youth the other night with the faculty I decided to have a look and see what other 90's teen classics I had lurking In my DVD collection when I seen I had the craft. Now I have no knowledge of ever purchasing this film but I remember I did love it so maybe I stole it from one of my friends. Who knows but as soon as I seen it I decided I had to watch it as soon as possible.
The plot is that a "troubled" new girl to LA Sarah who is starting at a new catholic school befriends a group of three other girls who are pretty much outsiders to the rest of the school. There is Nancy the slutty goth girl, bonnie who hides herself away in baggy clothes and greasy hair to cover up some burns she has and Rochelle who looks and acts pretty much normal but as she is black and this is LA in the 1890's ooops sorry I mean the 1990's this obviously makes her an outsider too. The three girls who Sarah befriends are into witch craft but it's all pretty much harmless as they need a fourth girl to join their circle. Step in Sarah who it turns out is magically gifted, shocking I know.
The girls cast spells and there are some pretty scenes with some butterflies etc until it all starts to go wrong and the girls start using their powers in more selfish ways. Sarah tries to leave but the girls especially Nancy who has pretty much become insane by this point are having none of it and use their powers to try and stop her. Throw in a love story that goes a little wrong and that pretty much sums up the plot.
I remember when this film came out and I was a teenager I thought the girls in it were so cool and I loved the movie but watching it from an adults perspective I soon seen just how corny the whole film actually is. Now I don't necessarily think that corny equals bad but it's far from the masterpiece my memory told me it was. There are so many things that just bug me in the movie such as the fact Rochelle is an outsider for being black. It was set in the late 90's in LA I seriously doubt she'd be the only black girl in the school and when Nancy gets her wish for money it seems like such a low amount for everything she gets with it. Just little things but they annoyed me.
The acting is fine all round with the exception of Robin Tunney who plays the lead who's voice just grated on me the entire film. Neve Campbell was also in this before the scream movies made her a star but the rest of the cast have pretty much faded into obscurity which is unfortunate as Faruza Balk (who I only just realized played the worst witch in the movie of the books) gives a great performance as the unhinged Nancy.
As I have said the movie is no masterpiece but it has held up well and is entertaining and I would rate it probably about a three but im going to give it an extra star for bringing back so many memories of my teenage years.
Released in 1996 and Directed by Andrew Flemming, The Craft was a favourite of mine as a teenager. I have always liked films that have supernatural or fantasy themes so this was an obvious choice when I to was a similar age to the characters involved.
When new girl Sarah starts catholic school in LA she is warned to stay away from misfits Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle but they seem somehow drawn to her and when they invite her to join their coven she accepts. Initially the spells seem quite harmless but as they start using their magic for personal gain the consequences get too much for Sarah and she tries to stop the others before it's too late.
Sarah is a bit geeky and although initially she thinks the magic is a bit of fun, once she realises the full implications she urges the others to stop. It is easy to feel for Nancy, she is neglected at home so acts out at school. This is quite common among teenagers and even though her situation is a bit more severe than most it's something many girls her age would sympathise with.
Bonnie has had a hard time; she was severely burnt as a child and still carries round the emotional and physical scars. I didn't think Rochelle was quite as noticeable as the other girls; she suffers racial abuse from one girl in particular and although she's out to get revenge I was never really convinced.
Essentially this is a teen drama where the characters dabble with the occult, not the other was around. I think the story is a little different to the usual teen stuff but still covers the normal issues. I used to really enjoy the film and I have to admit that I still tend to watch it if it's on telly now but as I am older the appeal isn't as great.
The girls all have their own troubles and although many of them are a little more severe than the average teenage problem, the emotions they feel are realistic and because of that it is easier to feel empathy for all of them. Even when they go too far you can see why they want to change their lives so much.
There are some quite funny parts in the film; I particularly liked seeing the effects of some of the spells the girls performed, the consequences were pretty comical. The special effects aren't amazing but don't look too bad 15 years on.
Although this is billed as a horror I don't think it is particularly scary; the girls aren't really threatening and even at the end you never really feel that anyone's life is in danger. It is still a good watch just don't expect to be scared.
The ending is the most disappointing as up until then the film does a good job throughout of dealing with issues, showing the occult whilst adding lighter moments that when it all fails at the end it's a total anti-climax. It seems to rely too heavily on special effects and not enough on the characters.
Robin Tunney played Sarah and although I think she did a reasonable job, she didn't make me believe she was the type of girl that would have tried to commit suicide as the plot suggests. I particularly liked Fairuza Balk as Nancy; she made her character rebellious but still vulnerable and portrayed the angry and emotionally scarred side of her personality perfectly.
Neve Campbell is probably the most well known actor of the cast. I thought she played Bonnie well, bringing her pain to the screen for all the viewers to feel. I did feel Rochelle was a weak character but I'm unsure whether this is down to the acting ability of Rachel True or not.
I loved this film as a teenager but I think that was because it was easier to relate to the girls' problems and emotions. Now I am older I see this as an okay film, something that doesn't really sway me either way. I find it easy to watch whilst it's on but otherwise I'm not fussed. It is currently £3.31 on Amazon with free super saver delivery.
The craft is the story of a lonely young girl who moves into a new school and finds that life at the bottom of the highschool pecking order is tough untill she finds a group of three young girls who let her into their world of Witchcraft which they use to improve their lives and get what they want. At first everything goes fine but as things progress some of their members begin to show their dark side.
I love this movie, partly because it is well researched. Much of the occult ideas were shown accurately or close to accurate although being a movie there was a lot of Hollywood going on. In effect underneath the obvious story there's a cautionary tale for any young Pagan, Wicca or Witch which is that magic once done is not so easily undone. And if you act with evil or spite in your heart then that is what will return to you. What goes around comes around as they say!
The Craft is a teen horror/ supernatural film and was released in 1996 by Columbia Pictures. The film is rated 15 because of bad language, violence and references to sex and is 97 minutes long. The Craft had a budget of $15 million, and even though it only made just under $25 million at the box office, it is rated #7 in the highest grossing movies that deal with witch craft.
Sarah - Robin Tunney
Nancy - Fairuza Balk
Bonnie - Neve Campbell
Rochelle - Rachel True
Chris - Skeet Ulrich
Laura - Christine Taylor
Sarah has just moved to LA from San Francisco with her dad and step mum. On the day that they move into their new house, a strange guy approaches Sarah and tries to give her a snake but runs away when she screams.
On her first day at Catholic school, St Benedict's, Sarah realises she doesnt really fit and and keeps to herself most of the time until one of the stars of the football team, Chris, starts talking to her at lunch. He tells Sarah that she should stay away from 3 girls, Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle because they're witches.
The 3 girls are actually witches but desperately need a 4th to complete their circle. One day in class, Bonnie see's Sarah rotating a pencil without touching it and is convinced she is the 4th. Even after Chris's warnings, Sarah makes friends with the other girls who in return, tell her to stay away from Chris. Sarah accompanies the girls to an occult shop, where the owner tells her she's a natural witch but after that all kinds of strange things start to happen.
After envoking the spirit, Manon, the girls get exactly what they wanted, including love and revenge but these things always come at a price, a price which questions their circle and their friendship.
As i said for my summary, this film isnt so much of a horror but has a lot of psychological wierdness. It was quite scary to think that if you are a witch you can pretty much do whatever you want, even if that means invading people's minds and dreams and making them see anything you want them to see. I certainly wouldnt like to get on the bad side of a witch if they can see your deepest fears and make them real. I'd be scared sh*tless of ever doing anything wrong.
Although all of the cast were amazing, Fairuza Balk and Robin Tunney really made this film for me. The 2 characters, Sarah and Nancy are complete opposites which I really liked. Balk played a crazy, psycho really well and brought a lot to the role. If it weren't for her character, I think the film would have been quite mundane and I certainly wouldn't have liked it as much.
Robin Tunney played Sarah, who was a great contrast to Nancy. Sarah is quiet and reserved but towards the end of the film she really shows how much she has grown and changed because of the other witches. She showed emotion really well without being too annoying and I could really feel for her towards the end of the film and was routing for her to find her strength.
Some of my favourite quotes:
Driver: Watch out for the weirdos, girls.
Nancy: We are the weirdos, mister.
Lirio: You know how to use candles?
Sarah: Yeah, you light the wick.
Nancy: If God and the Devil were playing football, Manon would be the stadium that they played on.
I'm glad this film was certified as a 15 because some of the scenes are really quite shocking and not for the feint hearted. This is one of my favourite films and I never get bored of watching it. It was one of the first DVD's I ever bought and would be lost without this in my collection.
The DVD is normally available for around £5 and has some great extras which are:
'Making of' featurette
This is one of my top ten favourite films, so I will be biased in my review. I love the soundtrack to this film, so much so that I went out and bought it, includes two of my favourite songs "I have the touch" by Heather Nova and "How soon is now?" by Love Spit Love (not a bad rendition, by prefer The Smiths version). I do enjoy my witchcraft Themed movies, which is not to everybody's taste.
Sarah (Robin Tunney) has just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and is a new student at local Catholic high school. Her talents are soon noticed by "the three bitches of eastwick" Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True) after spinning a pencil on her desk using only the power of her mind. They quickly enrol Sarah to be the fourth member to complete their coven. Now they have the power to call the corners, North, east, south and west in the hope to invoke Manon (Nature) "if god and the devil were to play a football match, Monon would be the stadium they played on". Now they can make things happen, causing a man to be run over by a truck, a Love spell on Chris (high school football player) to fall madly in love with Sarah, Nancy wins the lottery and her abusive stepfather dies of a heart attack, all of Bonnie's horrendous scars disappear and the high school's racist bully's hair starts to fall out (curtious of Rachelle's spell). They all think is fun and games, until the spells start backfiring "threefold". Sarah is almost raped by Chris,who eventually dies by being thrown out the window by Nancy. This forces Sarah to want to leave the coven, but Nancy won't let her. All three of them start to play tricks on Sarah, turning up in her nightmares, casting illusion spells (very creepy, the house is full of snakes, beetles and all things creepy crawly) in the attempt to force Sarah to take her own life. The film ends with Nancy in a mentel institutuion, Rochelle and bonnie have lost their powers. When they approach Sarah to ask if she still has powers, she replies with "be careful what you wish for".
The Film has some humour in some places and can be quite scary (that is if you don't like creepy crawly things, shiver down my spine).
Fairuza Balk is superb at playing Nancy, who lives in a trailer with her mom and abusive stepfather and like to think she is the leader of the gang. She is referred to as "white trash" and "whore". All she want to do is to invoke all the power of Manon, "to make things all better again".
Neve Campbell's character Bonnie is a shy girl who has horrible scars all over her body, that is until she casts a spell to remove them and turns into a real hussy.
Robin Tunney gives a good performance as Sarah, a natural witch with great powers passed down from her mother, who died during child birth. Sarah has already tried to commite suicide by slitting her wrists.
Rachel True's character Rochelle is constantly being bullied due to her colour. "if found a pubic hair in my brush, oh no wait, its just one of Rochelle *** hair"( not putiing *** as it is very racist and don't want to offend anyone)
I just had to buy it as I love all the songs in the film, I was a little disappointed that some of the songs weren't on the soundtrack such as Portishead.
1) Tomorrow Never Knows (Our Lady Peace)
2. I Have The Touch (Heather Nova) Excellent song, my favourite
3. All This And Nothing (Sponge) don't really care for this one
4. Dangerous Type (Letters To Cleo) another great song
5. How Soon Is Now? (Love Spit Love) ) Excellent song, my favourite
6. Dark Secret (Matthew Sweet) Quite good
7. Witches Song (Juliana Hatfield) another great song
8. Jump Into The Fire (Tripping Daisy) tend to skip this one
9. Under The Water (Jewel) went watching her live tour "spirit", she was brilliant
10 :Warning (Album Version)All Too Much
11. Spastica (Elastica) ok, but prefer their song "connection"
12. The Horror (Spacehog) skip this one too
13. Bells, Books and Candles (Graeme Revell) instrumental music, quite soothing
I would recommend this film if you like Teen horror films such as "I know what you did last summer"
The Craft was a film made in 1996 which I think is more intended for teenagers. I know that it was one I loved when I first saw it. It's asupernatural/horror movie starring Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell.
Their four characters, Sarah , Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle embark on a friendship which involves magic, which maybe they shouldn't be dabbling with.
It's the first day of school thing for Sarah and whilst being bored in a lesson she absently mindedly starts to play with her pencil. Not noticing that behind her that Bonnie has seen that she is doing this without touching it. Just using the power of her brain.
After seeing this Bonnie goes and tells both Rochelle and Nancy what she had witnessed and they become certain that she in the fourth witch that is needed to complete their circle to turn it into a coven.
Each of the girls have problems, Sarahs being that she had tried to commit suicide, Nancy lives in a trailer with her mom and abusive stepfather, Bonnie has massive scars all over her back, and Rochelle is subjected to racist taunts by popular girl Laura Lizzie. It's easy to see why they feel close with eachother.
They each create a spell which they are certain will benefit them and to some extent it works, however in Sarahs' case not the way she wants it to. On her first day at the school she is hit on by a guy called Chris, the schools' football star.
She instantly likes him but after they have been out a date she refuses to sleep with him. The next day however, he has a different story to tell everybody.
Her spell is that he falls in love with her but this goes too far when he becomes completly infatuated even to the extent of trying to rape her.
From then on you see that their wants haven't worked the way they wanted them to.
In the end Sarah realises that she has to stop the other girls from making anymore spells although it proves to be a lot harder than she first imagined.
This is a good film when you first get into it. Which is after the first 30 or so minutes have gone by. It doesn't really have any funny moments in it and I think it is more likely to appeal to teenage girls rather than boys. But that's just a guess.
You can get it for £2.42 from Amazon but on some occassions I've noticed that Smiths and Tesco have had it on offer for £3 on more than one occassion.
The Craft is an 1996 supernatural teen Horror directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Fairuza Bulk and Neve Campbell The film's plot centres on a group of four teenage girls who pursue witchcraft and use it for their own gain, and how this changes their friendship. The Story starts with Sarah (played by Tunney) moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles where she is enrolled at the local high school her encounter with the three other girls begins when Bonnie (played by Campbell) spots Sarah balancing and rotating a pencil on its point with her mind. Bonnie now thinks Sarah is the one who can complete the coven. During lunch break Sarah meets Chris, the school's football star (played by Skeet Ulrich) who warns her to stay away from Bonnie, Nancy
(played by Bulk) and Rochelle (played by True) whom he refers to as "The bitches of Eastwick", Sarah ignores his warning
After school, the three girls befriend Sarah and take her to an occult shop. The owner, Lirio played by Assumpta Serna, comments that Sarah is not like the other girls and says to her: "Maybe you are a natural witch; your power comes from within." While leaving the shop, Sarah is harassed by a man, the four girls all simultaneously will for something to happen and the man is hit by a car. The girls escape, and Nancy is thrilled at their "connection". Nancy then tells Sarah about Manon a spirit they want to invoke, which is their ultimate goal as a coven.
Sarah leaves the girls to meet Chris, but refuses to have sex with him. However, at school the next day, Sarah discovers that Chris boasted to the whole school that they slept together. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle comfort Sarah, and invite her on a field trip. They take the bus out to the country where they call the corners and cast some spells: Rochelle asks for the strength not to hate those who hate her, Sarah performs a love spell on Chris, Bonnie asks for beauty inside and out, and Nancy asks for "all the power of Manon." Shortly after the spells are cast, they show signs of working: Chris becomes infatuated with Sarah, Bonnie's scars miraculously heal, and the next time Laura bullies Rochelle, Laura's hair begins falling out. At home, Nancy's abusive stepfather has a heart attack and dies, then Nancy and her mother find out that they have inherited $175,000 from an insurance policy.
The girls go to Lirio's shop again, where Nancy finds a book about "Invoking the Spirit". Later that night, the girls go to the beach and form a circle, calling on Manon. At the culmination of the spell Nancy is struck by lightning. The next day, the beach is full of sea creatures, dolphins, whales etc, which Nancy say is a gift from Manon and the other three girls witness Nancy walking on the water, and from this point on, Nancy's powers have increased.
Sarah's love spell goes too far when Chris attempts to rape her. Nancy tries to seduce Chris by disguising herself as Sarah, but when the real Sarah arrives, Nancy causes Chris to fall out a second-story window, killing him. Sarah tries to stop Nancy by binding her powers, but this does not work and the three girls abandon Sarah. This is where Nancy and bonnie and Rochelle really start causing trouble for Sarah and needs all her strength, wits and power to survive.
This film is great viewing and I always enjoy watching it, I like the scene where Sarah and Nancy battling it out and Sarah uses a mind trick on Nancy to make her feel she is covered in insects and snakes, its a real creepy crawly scene.
What would you do if you had the chance to change all of the bad things in your life, or to hurt the people who have hurt you in the blink of an eye?
Would you take it? At what cost?
When Sarah moved to LA with her father and stepmother, she was worried about making friends.Very soon though, she falls in with three girls, who are generally considered the outcasts of school. All three (Bonnie,Nancy and Rochelle) share a love of the occult, and are all running from the problems in their lives.
When they find out that Sarah has unusual powers, they invite her into their coven.
As a foursome, the girls have more power than they ever imagined, but the choice of how to use it, whether for evil, or good, becomes complicated and dangerous.
Whats good about it?
The plot is incredible. Every character has a back story, every action a motivation. The film really captures the pressures of high school, and the feelings of alienation you experience as an outsider, or someone who isn't considered normal.
I appreciated the way that magic was depicted in the film. It wasn't like these girls were born knowing how to cast spells, or like they could just wiggle their little noses, and whazz kabam they had everything they ever wanted.It was treated more realistically. The principles of Wicca were roughly touched on, so it became almost believable that they could perform these spells (i believe in magic. I do.)
The film has a very definite beginning middle and end. The plot is easy to follow, and is incredibly interesting. I really enjoyed watching the progression of the characters, and seeing the way that power changed them.
I liked the way (however childish it is) that there was a kind of moral to the story, and the way that people seemed to get their just desserts in the end. You know, whatever you send out comes back to you times three.
The writing and dialogue was tight, current and entirely relevant to the audience it was aimed at.The film has some superb quotes. I remember countless times in high school, quoting "She's gonna cry, then I'm gonna cry, and we're all gonna cry!".
The acting is fantastic. There doesn't seem to be a duff performance from anyone, and its really hard to tell who does the best job.
Robin Tunney("Hollywoodland" + "Vertical limit") plays Sarah, the "natural" witch who comes to the coven last. She plays her part flawlessly. Sarah is both strong and vulnerable at the same time.
Fairuza Balk ("Return to Oz") is utterly captivating as Nancy. She almost completely steals the show with her slightly crazed terribly damaged portrayal.
I don't think any other actress could have played a character of that age who was so utterly menacing.
Neve Campbell("Scream") is beautiful and competent as badly scarred Bonnie, and her vulnerability and insecurity over her disfiguring scars is completely believable.
Rachel True is believable as Rochelle, a girl who is bullied by the popular pretty but racist blonde on her swim team. Her role however seems to be far smaller than that of the other girls.
The supporting cast is made up of fantastically talented people. Breckin meyer (Clueless) brings comic relief as Mitt, one of the schools popular boys. Skeet Ulrich ("Scream") is great as the mean womaniser of the school, who originally spurns Sarah, until she be-spells him to fall in love with him. He plays a bewitched lapdog (not literally) very convincingly!
Another interesting appearance is that of Christine Taylor, who plays racist beautiful blonde Laura Lizzie. She goes through a complete transformation, from school bitch, to bald beaten down and humiliated. Its wonderful to watch.Funnily enough, she appeared in friends a few years later as Bonnie, who was also bald!
The soundtrack is another highlight of the film. Featuring tracks such as "Scorn" by Portishead, "Spastica" by Elastica and "How soon is now" by Love Spit Love, is a real blast of the not so distant past.
All in All.
This is a real gem of a teen film. Its intelligent, interesting, dark and sinister.
The tight plot, fantastic acting, and wonderful soundtrack pulls it together and makes it a really enjoyable teen horror flick.
Bits and Bobs.
The film was released in 1996.
Director- Andrew Fleming.
Writer- Peter Filardi.
To buy, go here.
On DVD for £3.49.
(The link is split. Just put it all together).
Who will like this film:
This is a teen film with a dark difference. If you want to see something scary but not completely frightening you'll like.
Andrew Fleming, who also directed Nany Drew (2007).
Robin tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True and Skeet Ulirich.
About this film:
This film is Carrie meets Clueless! When 17 year old Sarah moves to a new area she makes friends with a group of girl, little does she know they have a heavy interest in Wicca; Witchcraft. Soon this leads them into unstoppable trouble.
The girls hold the power to change their looks.
Creepy crawlies make an appearance. eek!
A betwitching sountrack filled with the like of Morrissey, Letters to Cleo and Siouxsie Sioux.
Driver: Watch out for the weirdos, girls.
Nancy: We are the weirdos, mister.
A great film wit some scary and tense moments! worth look if it sounds your thing.
The story is about four girls at a Catholic school, who don't quite fit in.
The film is basically about witchcraft, though it seems a little inaccurate in parts, probably to make it easier to film.
The main characters are:
Nancy who lives in a trailer with her alcoholic mother and abusive step-dad.
Sarah who is plagued with guilt since the death of her mother.
Bonnie who was burned as a child and so hates her body.
And Rachelle who is constantly being bullied and wants to get even.
Put all 4 together add in some witch craft and something awful is going to happen. But not necessarily just to the other people around them.
The film follows them, as the quartet firstly embrace their powers and then become seduced by 'the dark side'.
It turns out that Sarah is the natural witch, and with and through her, the power of the others is magnified.
Can anyone pull back in time or will all be lost?
The movie deals with spirituality, redemption, soul searching, madness and looking over into the abyss.
It's not the type of film I'd normally watch but to be honest it was quite good.
Recommended to watch once then forget about it.
Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 1
Run Time: 97 minutes
Amazon Price: £3.40
I first saw this film at a friend's house. We had a girly sleepover and a few of us childishly tried to do some witchcraft afterwards
obviously with little success! I had never heard of 'The Craft' and the video belonged to my mate's big sister. We were only 11 and at the time the film was very scary and unnerving, now however I find it quite silly but still good.
The film is directed by Andre Fleming in 1996, starting Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell Rachel True and Fairuza Balk.
The film starts with Sarah (Robin Tunney) who moves to Los Angeles from San Francisco. She starts at St Benedict's and meets three new friends Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True). They teach Sarah about the art of witchcraft. They manage to 'invoke the spirit' and strange things start to happen. They all have certain things they wish to change, Sarah wants the captain of the football team, Chris (Skeet Ulrich) to love her, Bonnie wants to get rid of the horrible scars on her body and be more beautiful, Rochelle wishes that those who hate and bully her to know what it feels like but Nancy wishes for 'all of the power of Manon'.
Not long after they start to get what they wished for Chris is mad for Sarah and his love soon becomes a scary obsession it was fun at first but soon becomes quite dangerous. Bonnie's scars disappear and she starts to feel and look more beautiful. Rochelles bully, Laura starts to lose her hair and everyone seems happy. Nancy on the other hand starts to wonder if she will get her wish. When she returns home to the trailer park she causes her dad to have a heart attack and later find out her had a huge insurance payout and they can live in a huge apartment.
After the success Nancy decided to get a book on 'Invoking the Spirit' and takes things a little to far. Nancy is struck by lightning during a huge storm. The next day the girls wake up to see Nancy walking on water and lots of dead sharks over the beach.
Sarah soon begin to question the magic and rather concerned about the damage they are causing distances herself from them. They soon become her enemies and start killing others to get what they want. The three girls hurt and upset a lot of people can Sarah protect her father and those around her or is it too late?
The film is very easy to follow and requires little mental effort. I really like films I can sit down to and not have to use a brain to work out each scene. The Craft is a film that is easy to get into and follow throughout. I also find that it's a film I can watch over and over again without getting bored, which is often the case with 'unchallenging' films.
I thought this film was very scary when I was younger the cockroaches and snakes really scared me. In fact I had nightmares for several nights after watching it so it clearly had an effect. Today however I find the film a lot easier to watch without having nightmares or hiding behind cushions.
The film is quite psychologically upsetting more than scary; I hated the thought that someone could haunt dreams like that and know about it. The film still has that feeling where my heart skips a beat in some places and for me that is great. It shows that a film does not have to be very violent or gruesome to hold a viewers attention and interest.
I thought Nancy - Fairuza Balk made this film the others acted well and gave a believable performance but Balk was a cut above the rest. She played an extraordinary role and her 'crazy', 'psycho' attitude was very believable. In fact it was Balks performance that made the film scary and changed the film from a 'teen flick' to a horror movie.
Robin Tunney - Sarah was an excellent contrast in her role as a shy, retiring and troubled teen. She played some of the 'scariest' scenes brilliantly with super execution and believable sorrow. I really felt sorry for her when she realised her dad had been killed in a plane crash caused by Nancy. This was one point in the film where my heart sank and seemed to skip a beat I felt a lump in my throat and this was due to the excellent and believable performance of Tunney.
I can imagine most teens sitting down to watch the film and getting so obsessed with witchcraft that they try to recreate the spell. It is one of those films that would appeal to a diverse section of viewers. I watched this with my partner a few weeks ago and he was quite into it and I was quite surprised about this as he tends to dislike teen flicks. Although I think he was enjoying the girls in short skirts and school uniform.
The soundtrack was nothing special to be quite honest; I didn't get a certain feel with the soundtrack as I would with most films. The music didn't seem to jump out at all and merged with the film.
The DVD is in Dolby so some of the effects such as the storm sound very good with 5:1 speakers. I feel that films where the effect of being surrounded by background sounds creates a believable atmosphere. The DVD has a number of extra features such as deleted scenes, a directors commentary and details of how the film was made. These features are quite interesting to look at especially when I found out that the snakes and creepies were real arrrggghhh!
Director: Andrew Fleming
Duration: 97 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
I did have a few problems finding this on DVD in high streets stores although Virgin did say they would order it in at a ridiculous price. I managed to get mine of Amazon for £4.13 although it is now available for £3.97 (Collectors Edition) or on Play.com (£5 including delivery).
I have heard that there will be a sequel 'Craft 2' but it will go straight to DVD in 2008. Whether or not this is the case or not I am not sure. I did think when I saw the film that it was left open to a sequel.
*** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ***
I saw the trailer for this movie on E4 (showing at 9pm Fri, 5th Oct 2004) and my teenage years and my love for this movie all came flooding back!
I have always loved movies to do with magic and the occult and things like that so as soon as this movie hit our screens around 8 years ago (Crikey - 8 years!?) me and my friends were first in line. Well, if I recall rightly we were about 3rd or so.. ahem..
The movie follows a young girl called Sarah (Robin Tunney) who has had to move to LA with her father and step-mother, and so has to start a new school, St. Benadict's.
She is immediately told to avoid a group of 3 'gothic' style girls by the schools football jock, Chris (Skeet Ulrich), because the rumour is they're witches! They are certainly the outcasts of the school and are singled out by many as 'weirdos'.
Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Rochelle (Rachel True) and Nancy (Fairuza Balk) have been practising the craft for sometime, but their circle has never been complete as they were missing the fourth witch. When Sarah turns up on the same day their almanac predicts that their fourth member would arrive, they quickly latch on to her.
Discovering that they can make things happen Sarah is pulled into a downward spiral of dark magic and power greedy friends who begin to abuse the craft. As events begin to get out of hand Sarah must turn against her coven and prevent them from doing anymore harm. Can Sarah stop them, or is her fear of them too strong?
The movie is excellently directed with dark, sexy and stunning visuals which keeps the audience interested. There is always something happening to maintain your attention.
The cast are superb and this movie helped place Neve Campbell as one of my favourite actresses, her performance isn't anything too special, but she has a screen presence that definitely keeps me watching! The star of the show however, is Fairuza Balk as the twisted Nancy. It's a far cry from her days as Dorothy in the Return to Oz, and this time it's her who is giving the nightmares!
The movie is well written and has a lot of light hearted and funny moments and characters, such as Nancy's mother! The movie isn't overrun with magic and spells, for me it has the perfect balance of eye-catching visuals and a strong story-line!
And, if you're anything like me, you'll get a few drinks in you and get a friend to lie on the floor while a few of you chant "light as a feather, stiff as a board" in the hope they'll float! (Bet I'm not the only one)
The Craft was directed and written by Andrew Fleming who also did the movie 'Dick' (about Richard Nixon) and the TV series 'Grosse Point'. To date, this is by far his best piece of work.
With Halloween being this weekend it's a bit of a shame E4 couldn't have scheduled this movie sooner, but I think I'll still watch it... that's if I haven't put the DVD on before then!
If you're not doing anything else this Friday then definitely catch it on the TV, if you don't like it you can switch it off and you haven't lost any money! Definitely watch this movie if you enjoyed 'Practical Magic'.
"Conjuring The Craft" Making Of Featurette (Approx. 25mins)
Feature Length Commentary With Andrew Fleming (Director)
Having watched this on Channel 4 the other night (19th Jan) I thought I may as well air my views on it. I’ve never seen it before (despite the fact that I’m Wiccan myself!) I was rather dubious about this film from the outset to be honest because, as with programmes like this, it tends to be completely different to what real Wicca is like. For example, you’ve only got to look at Charmed to realise that. However, as I had nothing else to do at 9pm I thought I might as well give it the benefit of the doubt. So, by now you should all know, from reading what I’ve already said and from reading this names title. With a name like that it’s just got to be about witchcraft really hasn’t it! For those who have seen this film please feel free to skip this section until you see the J…. ~ Synopsis ~ A new girl, who incidentally goes by the name of Sarah moves into a new neighbourhood. She’s not a very happy teen, she’s always felt guilty because her mother died while giving birth. In fact she’s been so unhappy in the past she’s tried to commit suicide. Anyway, her life just seems to be getting back on track when she moves school. She meets a guy she likes but also meets a group of ‘weirdo’s’. These ‘weirdo’s’ or ‘Bitches of Eastwitch’ as they’re known by the other students are said to be witches (no one believes them though). These ‘weirdo’s’ are indeed witches but are in search of a 4th member for their coven (to complete the coven you require 4 members, e.g. north, east, south, west or earth, air, fire, water). They realise Sarah is the one person needed after seeing her balance a pencil on its nib by mind power alone. Sarah is introduced to their religion based on Mano (similar to the Wicca religion). They take a trip to the local shop which sells items of a
n occult nature, they buy some candles and books and from then on in Sarah is involved. One thing leads to another, they end up making their own coven and casting a few spells. All the spells work but they all lead to trouble. I won’t go into any more depth because if you’ve still to see this it’ll spoil it if I say anything more. J (ok, now you can carry on reading!) ~ So, who’s in it then? ~ Well the biggest star is Neve Cambell (she gets about a bit doesn’t she!). In this film she plays the part of Bonnie, a shy and quiet member of the coven (that is until her spell comes true anyway…. you’ll have to watch to find out why!) We also have Robin Tunney playing the leading role of Sarah, Fairuza Balk playing to role of Nancy and Rachel True who plays Rochelle. Other members of the cast include Skeet Ulrich (the guy who takes a fancy to Sarah, under false pretences though….) ~ What did Sarah_Louise think? ~ Well, as predicted, this film portrays this field of religion different to what it really is like. This is to be expected though I guess because proper Wicca wouldn’t make a very interesting movie to most people. It’s exactly the same with the Charmed programme. I was pleasantly surprised to note that quite a few aspects in this film do follow the real Wicca quite well (e.g. some aspects of the invoking the spirit scene and some aspects of initiation). On the whole though there were a lot of flaws in this film. I’m not going to hold this against the film though for the simple reason I mentioned earlier; it simply wouldn’t make interesting viewing if they didn’t levitate, fly and have snakes as fingers! In many ways films like this have detrimental effects on Wicca and other similar religions because many people claim they know about the religion. On questioning them though it’s clear the
y only know the aspects touched upon in films and TV programmes. Films like this tend to portray witches as beings who can fly around (sorry, we can’t, unfortunately!), cast instantaneous spells and hence immediately turn people into frogs (alas, we can’t do that either!) or beings who have complete power over the weather (again, not true). So far as a film goes though it does make a good traditional teen movie in my opinion. It’s just your average typical teen movie (teen angst, bullying, etc.), the only difference is that this film incorporates witchcraft into it. I noticed a few anomalous points in the movie though (of which I checked on the nitpickers site to see if they’ve picked them up too). I was really hoping I’d picked something up they hadn’t because they seem to pick up the tiniest of details. Unfortunately they’d noticed what I’d noticed and much more! The things I picked up on were: 1) In the shower scene, after Rochelle had caused one girls hair to fall out through a spell. Rochelle turns to look in the mirror behind her. She see’s the back of her head (to be expected as witches are supposed to see themselves back-to-front in a mirror). But then near the end of the movie when Sarah is reciting the threefold law and says “let them see, three times three”, Rochelle and Bonnie look in the mirror and see their faces. Hmmm, one minute they’re witches, then the next they’re not! Make your minds up! 2) When the girls are in the witchcraft store for the first time, Sarah buys candles, a diary (Book of Shadows) and a book called 'The Craft'. The total comes to $20. Now I’m sorry but anyone into the real Wicca will realise that 99.9% of the Book of Shadows available in shops would set you back double that alone, never mind the other book and the candles! I wish there was a local occult store selling stuff so
cheap near me! 3) As the girls are walking to the beach to invoke the spirit it’s supposed to be nighttime but strangely through the archway in the cave the sky looks a nice pale blue colour! 4) Again, as the girls are walking to the beach we see them carrying 4 animals to represent the elements. We see a fish in a jam jar (to represent water), a snake (traditionally represents fire), a bird in a cage (represents air), and a butterfly (represents air). Did you spot the deliberate mistake? What happened to earth?! For more see: http://www.nitpickers.com/movies/nitpicks/3000/2872.shtml ~ Conclusion ~ Apart from the minor niggles, I would recommend this film. Don’t expect it to be particularly educational, scary or have you sitting on the edge of the seat. If you are interested in the occult and think you’re going to learn much from this film think again, like I said a few minor aspects are correct but most isn’t particularly educational. You could learn a lot more from buying some books (you never know, you might find a really cheap witchcraft store like they did!) or looking on the Internet. ~ Boring bits ~ Rating: 15 due to: Some swearing, A tiny bit of blood (a pin prick when they’re doing the initiation but also some when Nancy slits Sarah’s wrists near the end of the movie), A few mildly scary moments (mainly if you’re terrified of snakes!) Genre: horror, thriller and comedy in one. Director: Andrew Fleming Producer: Douglas Wick One last point, if you want more info I really wouldn’t bother doing a google search. Why? Well it seems that 99% of the search results bring up websites saying “Re: song from the Craft movie”, I’m not sure why but there we go! You can buy your own copy from amazon.co.uk for £5.99.
Well this is a movie I enjoyed afar more than I expected to. "Teenage witches wreaking havoc in an American High School" sounded like the plot from hell to me and if I saw it again attached to a different movie, probably still would, but last night I was bored and it was on and well I started half paying attention to it...and got sucked in and enjoyed it. Maybe I really was THAT bored, but maybe it's actual quite entertaining. Anyhoo, the plot is simple so I'll skim over it. A girl moves to a new town and finds herself something of a loner in her new school. People are rude to her aside from a gang of 3 misfits who claim to be witches and are nicknamed "The Bitches Of Eastwick" by their classmates...the reason they like her is because she is apparently the fourth 'witch' they are looking for to complete their coven. Apparently you need 4 witches(umm, 3 everywhere else innit?), one for each point of the compass and their powers will be complete. Lo and behold...it works! At first it's fun, they magic up a cloud of butterflies, levitate etc. but things get out of hand as they use their powers for increasingly more ambitious and then evil means... Umm, firstly let me say that the plot is basically pitched at teens. You know the kind of thing, witches find they are all-powerful and instead of changing the world order or something they make their enemys hair fall out and a boy fall in love with them...such high ideas. As such, it's best to just ignore the plot, which is something I found myself quickly doing. It's simply not interesting. It could have been, but it's not that kind of movie. Instead we do watch a racist girl's blonde hair drop out, another use her powers to make a boy follow her around like a puppy dog and so on. It's all a bit pithy and it ought not to have worked at all... The reason it does work though, well for me anyway as it doesn't seem to have been too popula
r amongst the critics, is because for once we have a cast who actually recognise they are meant to be teens and are absolutely spot in their attemps to capture the whole teenage thing. Fairuza Balk in particular revels in her role as the goth bitch nancy but the others slip into their roles equally comfortably bringing an air of class to what is otherwise rather cheesy. I did like the pacing of the movie as well and whilst it was blatantly obvious where the movie was going from the moment you realise what it's all about(like when you read the TV guide lol) it still manages to generate a little tension on the way there to its kinda cool conclusion. Some nice touches with special effects, suitably gothic surroundings etc. and a wonderful segment full of all things creepy, crawly and slithery top it all off nicely. You will notice that at least 5 or 6 scenes seem to ONLY be there to add extra witchy-poo atmosphere into the cauldron and then disappear without a trace and you will notice that subplots are forgotten or closed off weakly amongst many other faults but you'll not be expecting too much will you? Will you?? I could grumble about this movie's faults but what would be the point? Think ?Teenage witches in a US High School?...if you expect anything too high-brow from it then you deserve to have a miserable 90 minutes lol. As teen 'horror' goes I thought it wasn't a bad example at all. As movies go it's probably 3 stars. I liked it, I wouldn't have rented it nor would I encourage anyone other than those who do like teen horror to do so(and don't expect much horror either - think "Charmed" and that's the level of horror on display) and bear in mind that Channel 4 seem to love showing it...so why not wait eh? lol Not bad, not great, but watchable.
Andrew Fleming (Director)’s 1996 teen-witch film ‘The Craft’ was one I’d been looking forward to seeing for some time and I finally caught it on TV recently. It’s a difficult one to categorise though – it doesn’t quite fit in with teen-horrors like Scream, but nor is it the more straightforward teen flick about dating (e.g. American Pie). In fact, in a fairly loose sense, it’s like a cross between the two! In case you aren’t familiar with the film at all, the ‘craft’ referred to in the title is witchcraft. The film centres around four schoolgirls practising magic, in a somewhat Willow-from-Buffy (or, dare I say it) Sabrina fashion. (Watch out for plot elements in the next four paragraphs) Sarah (Robin Tunney) is a new girl in LA, her family having moved from San Francisco. At first, she doesn’t fit in at her new school, until she runs into the ‘Bitches of Eastwick’ – three girls (Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True)). The group have already been practising magic (I think, although it’s not clear they were really doing much more than dabbling in the occult and wearing black make up!), but are looking for a fourth witch to complete their coven. They discover in Sarah latent magical abilities (inherited from her dead mother) and she joins their circle. The group are all in some way ‘outcasts’ from the mainstream and shunned by the ‘cool’ majority at school. Sarah refused to go ‘all the way’ on a first ‘date’ with jock Chris Hooker (Street Ulrich) so he told everyone she was a ‘lousy shag’. Nancy, seemingly the gang’s de facto leader, comes from a poor, white trash family with a violent father. Rochelle is bullied by other girls because she is black and Bonnie’s back is covered in burn scars, which seem to deeply upset her and affect h
er confidence. After visiting a strange occult shop, and buying (and stealing) books, candles and other witchcraft paraphernalia, the gang realise the potential of their magic after levitating Rochelle and casting spells in a field – hoping to solve the aforementioned teenage ‘life issues’. At first their magic is used for the fairly trivial things you might expect from teenagers, their own amusement, boy trouble and the like. Soon, however, it begins to get more serious. Nancy in particular is seduced by the power of witchcraft, and begins over-using her magic. Sarah learns that ‘what goes around, comes around’ and urges temperance, but the others laugh at her even when the effects of their spells begin to spiral out of control. This ultimately leads to a split in the coven, and a final showdown between Sarah and Nancy (I’ll try not to spoil the ending, but you can probably guess who emerges victorious). (Should be safe to read from now on, although I’ll still be mentioning various events) Generally I thought the acting was pretty good from a young cast, and I’m surprised some (especially Tunney) haven’t gone on to bigger things (I believe Tunney’s recent appearances have been in ‘End of Days’ and ‘Vertical Limit’). Balk seemed awkward, but I think this was as much her portraying Nancy herself as a misfit, rather than a flaw in her performance. Overall, I found it easy to accept these were girls dabbling in the occult; and the whole film was made just that little bit better by the supporting cast, who played stereotypical teenagers obsessed with parties, dating, etc and oblivious to what was going on around them. There are moments of humour, such as students ‘goofing around’ in the French lesson and Sarah totally humiliating Chris after casting a spell on him. It’s not a comedy film though. Far darker themes are explored
– the whole idea of witchcraft, for example, might not be suitable for young children. There are moderate sexual references and practically no swearing, but the occasional violence and witchcraft theme make it unsuitable for young children. I’d guess it’s a 15; nothing that will upset anyone who has an understanding that it’s not real (unless they’re religiously offended) and it was only shown at 9pm, so it can’t have been deemed that upsetting by the TV programmers. While usual teenage preoccupations, such as boyfriends, experimenting with friends and general girls bitching do feature prominently, the film is deeper than this. Character development is most notable in Sarah, although Nancy offers the other side of the story, descending into madness, while Bonnie and Rochelle reform by the end. It preaches sensible ideas, such as respect for others, through the idea of ‘magical karma’, and we clearly see that the girls get back the consequences of their actions. The snakes and bugs also represent Sarah dealing with, and overcoming, her inner demons, but this metaphor isn’t as deeply explored as it could be, and comes over more as a means to build atmosphere and use up the effects budget! Unfortunately some effects leave more to be desired. The snakes are realistic enough; even when they sprout from people’s hands/hair it’s probably as good as possible. Nancy walking on the water at one point is also quite good. The problem is that there are several scenes involving flying or levitation, and I found them generally unconvincing. The climax to the film could be accused of going somewhat over the top, playing everything up too much to create tension, but arguably overdoing everything. It may not have been the most believable conclusion ever, but, then again, it’s a film about witchcraft. Personally, I was torn between being gripped by the action and going ‘oh no, thi
s is rubbish’! The soundtrack didn’t impress me much either. I regularly noticed the songs, but they seemed forgettable and there for the sake of it, rather than adding anything to the scenes involved. Songs are written by the likes of Lennon and McCartney, Marianne Faithful and Peter Gabriel; but unfortunately most are performed by unknowns! The more notable bands to actually play include Portishead, Our Lady Peace, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Elastica, but they don’t seem to add much. Overall, it was certainly an enjoyable film, and one I wouldn’t mind watching again. I have to admit that I personally like the occult-type stuff depicted, so the film was automatically one that interested me. Had this not been the case, I might have been harsher and awarded three stars. For the most part though I thought this was a good film, and I was impressed by the acting in particular, I just feel an interesting (if not especially original) concept could have been taken further.