There was a trend throughout pre-teen and teenage girls in the late 90s; a trend that scared every parent to their wits! Where every sleep over was shrouded in mysterious chanting and candlelight. Spells, witches, and more were whispered in hushed tones and everyone had come down with something serious…..the craft.
No one else tried pin-prick their friend’s finger then drink blood-laced milk?
Twenty years ago, The Craft came into our lives and for that, we are better for it. Set in Los Angeles, Sarah (Robin Tunney) has been moved from San Francisco. At her Catholic School (irony,) Sarah befriends a group of outcast girls; Nancy (Fairuza Balk,) Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True.) However, these girls are known for dabbling in witchcraft and realising Sarah’s potential, invite her into their coven. Soon, Sarah and Co are dabbling up spells and invoking spirits to solve their problems. But even the most earnest of spells have consequences as our ladies are sure to find out.
Despite what initial critical and audience response would have you believe, The Craft is actually really good. The Craft is also an accurate portrayal of some elements of Wicca (Baulk is actually a Wiccan and helped producers make the film more realistic.) As well as this, it shows a much darker side to all this magic malarkey left unexplored in fantastical movies. For example, the “power of three” consequence is strife within this movie and simple shows that no matter how much you want something, it could also bite you in the arse.
What’s more, when it comes to those magical moments then the special effects aren’t really that bad for a nineties movie (seeing as over 3000 snakes and bugs were used, it’s hard to make them look fake.) The mystical moments truly solidify your believe in magic.
Not only is the CGI convincing enough to make young girls believe that you could lift your fat friend into the air using words and two fingers; the Craft has something more. The characters and acting within this are just brilliant. Fairuza Balk, since growing into her crazy looks, plays completely terrifyingly insane extremely well. Her Nancy, who takes one sip of power and goes loco, is sublimely frightening and sadistic within the film. She is held up well by the painfully shy Bonnie and the bullied Rachel. The outcast element here enhances the atmosphere, allowing you to relate and . Each character has their own struggles and battles, looking at the rest of the world from the space they have been shoved in. Each is portrayed subtly and beautiful by our lead cast. They invoke all different kinds of emotions from sadness to anger, each suited for their role.
Which brings me on to Robin Turney who I believe is a seriously underrated actress. She is wonderful to watch as the broken heroine who is good with a wicked side as well. You root for her but you know that she is dangerous as well. She’s the kind of hero you relate to, even if she is wiggling her magic fingers in a love spell.
The Craft is chilling, terrifying and gets under your skin. There is also an incredible soundtrack despite the usual “How Soon Is Now” that seems to be the staple for brooding nineties movies everywhere. I heard someone say this about The Craft, and I believe it so; The Craft is a fantastic movie sandwiched in a bad genre. No one sees movies aimed at teens because in general, they are the same and once you grow old, they don’t appeal to you. The Craft is an exception that’s breaks the rule and sadly, with the release of a film that shan’t be named (Twilight) it is still going to be lumped in with the teen supernatural genre, even decades after release.
And that’s a curse that needs breaking.