The Craft (1996)

The_craft_movie_poster

Genre: Horror, Drama

Cast: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell

Synopsis: Four misfits wearing slutty Catholic school uniforms develop magical powers but shit goes awry when they use their powers for personal gain

Now this is a blast from the past! I remember when I was a teenager, channel 4 used to screen this movie at least twice a year and every time it was on I would watch it. As such, this film is my ultimate guilty favourite and, when I saw it was on Netflix, I just had to watch it for the blog. The plot is simple enough: a beautiful girl moves to LA and falls in with a group of creepy misfits who turn out to be witches. They do all sorts of crazy spells to improve their lives but one goes crazy and shit gets out of hand and then all notions of sisterhood fly out the fucking window. As you can see, it’s not a particularly complex or challenging plot. What makes this film enjoyable to watch though is that perfectly sums up everything that was both good and bad about the 90s while also throwing in some trippy visuals.

So, what about this film is so 90s? Well, for starters, Neve Campbell. Is there anyone who defines the 90s teenage experience better than Neve Campbell? When I was living in LA I had lunch with her once….and by ‘with’ I very much mean we were in the same cafe and she was sat at a different table while I was eating sesame seed bagel because I was broke and that’s all I could afford. At the time I was struck by how beautiful and 90s she was! It was as if I had stepped into some sort of time warp. If I had ventured outside I am sure I would have seen people dressed like Clarissa from Clarissa Explains it All. Anyway, my point is that Neve Campbell exudes 90s teen glamour and any film with her in gets the 90s seal of approval.

This film will force you to reminisce about a simpler time, a better time; a time when people used to wear neon spandex cycling shorts as every day wear, fantasize about Skeet Ulrich and say things like “damn girl, you a phat bitch!” That 90s teen slang right? Who cares! Anything can be 90s teen slang if you say it while wearing an ensemble that can only be described as catholic schoolgirl meets heroin addict.

In fact, I think this is actually what The Craft is about: addiction to drugs. Magic becomes a metaphor for heroin in this movie and everyone knows that heroin was to the 90s what coke was to the 80s. All these girls do is lock themselves away in their rooms and then do crazy shit like drive through red lights and talk about how Mannon is inside their veins! I assume Mannon is a code word for smack. Watch this film again and see for yourself how easily ‘magic’ can be replaced with ‘heroin.’ A lot of their so called ‘spells’ might not even be the result of magic but coincidence. For instance, the guy who got hit by a car in this movie got hit by a car because he ran into the road holding a snake, not because of magic. Neve’s scars went away because her treatment worked, not because of magic. The bitch’s hair fell out because she had alopecia, not because of magic. This movie just goes to show you that smack addicts will believe anything that they want.

High-lights:

  • My 90s childhood came rushing back to me.
  • Some trippy scenes like when Nancy walks on water and talks about how dead sharks are her gifts. To be honest, I’d be a little pissed off if someone gave me a dead shark as a gift.
  • “Who’s your daughter now?!” What?
  • Awesome 90s soundtrack. Whoever decided to use ‘Glorybox’ by Portishead was a genius.

Downers:

  • Total chick flick.
  • It actually becomes quite depressing when you realise that they are all on drugs.
  • Occasional bad 90s special effects…although the scene where Nancy walks on water was pretty good.
  • Corny ending.

Summary:

At its core, this movie does have a good message: don’t get addicted to heroin. Sure, use it recreationally but don’t become obsessed in the way Fairuza Balk does with her great white shark-like mouth. Seriously, this girl has a huge mouth. All jokes aside, this is a fun movie and one that’s very easy to get into and one which will keep you entertained. Sure, it’s never going to be included in IMDB’s top 250 (and nor should it) but it’s one of those movies which will allow you to turn off your brain. Just don’t turn it off so much that you begin to think that a needle full of sweet Georgia brown will make all of your problems disappear. Repeat after me people: drugs are bad! Now excuse me while I take a rip from my bong.

7/10

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7 Comments

Filed under Drama, Good, Horror

7 responses to “The Craft (1996)

  1. Amazing. I haven’t seen this film for ages but I can’t believe I never noticed the parallel with drugs. You learn something new every day!

  2. I saw a movie from the Philadelphia indie film scene called Alpha Girls, which is often identified as a shameless low-budget ripoff of The Craft. If you want to see the movie I’m actually embarrassed to admit I’ve seen, you should check out Alpha Girls, which I even reviewed on my site.

  3. Haha nice review! Fairuza Balk’s mouth is an absolutely terrifying thing. Didn’t think I was gonna like this but actually quite enjoyed it. Never picked up on the heroin metaphors before but that’s a quite the revelation! Nice work!

  4. Great post, used to love this movie years ago. That soundtrack is so cool.

  5. I saw this at the dollar theater back then and wanted my money back when it was over.

  6. Pingback: Practical Magic (1998) | bakedmoviereviews

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