This 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The special effects are pretty rough, and the story is simple, but it’s a comfortable watch.
- 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.
- This will probably always be my favourite part of the film:
Watch the trailer here.