Thoughts on… The Craft (1996)

the-craft-movie-poster-1996-1020198968This film is responsible for a generation of girls from the 90s experimenting with witchcraft and forming their own covens in order to levitate each other during sleepover parties. The Craft (1996, dir. Andrew Fleming) is one of those films that is so 1990s that it almost works as a time travelling device back to that much simpler decade. Its synopsis is as follows:

A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them. (source)

In celebration of this fine film’s 20th anniversary, I re-watched it the other day. Here’s a list of some of the thoughts I experienced whilst re-watching this classic film.

  1. The power of nostalgia is strong with this one. But it’s a welcome trip down memory lane. I can’t be the only person who grew up in the 90s and who also had a healthy respect for this film.
  2. The interesting thing about The Craft is that none of the performances are amazing, but none of them are really bad either. Fairuza Balk is definitely the highlight as power-crazy Nancy Downs.
  3. The film has such a great soundtrack, with so many 90s grungey jams. Most notably, it’s interesting that the film uses The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now’ for one scene, which ended up being the theme song for Charmed, a show also about a coven of witches.
  4. I recently read a very interesting article/interview about the costume design, which parallels the characters’ building sense of identity and witchy power. Well worth a read either before or after you watch the film, as it becomes clear pretty early on that the costume design is very intentional.
  5. Probably my favourite thing about The Craft is the sense of the ‘girl gang’ – powerful ladies forming a group and sticking up for one another; unfortunately that concept doesn’t hold up too well when they start turning on one another.
  6. Like a whole bunch of films I’ve watched as a child in the 90s, The Craft holds up fairly well when watching it in today’s day and age.
  7. The special effects are pretty rough, and the story is simple, but it’s a comfortable watch.
  8. The story of power corrupting those who seek it is isn’t necessarily new (and it definitely wasn’t new when this one was released in 1996), but it’s still an interesting narrative to watch as it plays out; particularly when cool magical things like levitating and walking on water are involved.
  9. This will probably always be my favourite part of the film:

large

3.5/5
Watch the trailer here.

22 comments

  1. I love this movie, anything to do with witchcraft interests me. They combined it well with themes of alienation and identity.

    1. Me too! I like how they made sure that everything felt as authentic as possible.

      1. I watched some of the bonus features and was impressed to discover that too.

  2. I love this movie as well. I don’t usually pay attention to the soundtrack except for movies like Grease, Footloose and The Lost Boys but I also loved the music, especially How Soon Is Now.

    1. It’s such a great soundtrack, so nostalgic. Like a perfect time capsule for 1996!

  3. This film is one of my all time favourites. It’s not complex or incredible. I like what you said about the performances because they’re nothing Oscar worthy but it’s one of my favourites because 1) witches and 2) because it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. I like the grungy feel it has (thanks to the soundtrack and costume) it is a proper nostalgia trip and while I didn’t experience much of the 90s it’s one of the films that makes me feel like I did. Does that make sense?

    1. It does make sense! The film is such a time capsule, it transports you right back to the mid 90s even if you didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing much of it.

  4. I’m a huge fan of the alienation genre and The Craft was one of the first young adult films that I felt truly captured the theme without being saccharine or schlocky. Of course, it’s impossible to feel schlocky with The Smiths. I was already a mom when it come out and I remember thinking it very likely properly foreshadowed the generation to come. Boy, did it ever.

    1. Absolutely, the lack of schlock is so great. You were definitely spot on with your prediction there!

      1. Why, thank you kindly.

  5. […] via Thoughts on… The Craft (1996) — FILM GRIMOIRE […]

    1. Thanks heaps for the reblog! 🙂

  6. I had no interest in The Craft when it came out but now maybe I’d enjoy it for some 90s nostalgia. You had me at grungy jams.

    1. The grungy jams are so great! About half of the album is on Spotify, I’ve been loving it.

  7. I was fifteen when this came out and it SPOKE to me. I rewatched it quite recently and I still kind of love it.

    1. You’re definitely not alone on that one! I think this is one of those films that just resonates with people of a particular time and place. Oh the 90s, what a time to be alive.

  8. AWESOME post! This movie will forever be 90s nostalgia at it’s greatest!

    1. Thanks heaps Courtney! 😀

  9. I watched the crap out of this as a kid. I really should check it out again, it’s been ages!

    1. Definitely! I can confirm it’s absolutely worth the rewatch!

  10. I LOVE The Craft! It’s still very watchable now even though it’s full of 90s nostalgia 🙂

    Great post Anna!

    1. Thanks Emma! I do love a bit of 90s nostalgia.

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