The Craft (1996)

   
Directed by: Andrew Fleming

Written by: Peter Filardi & Andrew Fleming

Starring:

Robin Tunney .... Sarah Bailey
Fairuza Balk .... Nancy Downs
Neve Campbell .... Bonnie
Rachel True .... Rochelle
Skeet Ulrich .... Chris Hooker
Christine Taylor .... Laura Lizzie
Breckin Meyer .... Mitt
Nathaniel Marston .... Trey
Cliff DeYoung .... Mr. Bailey
Assumpta Serna .... Lirio

Special Appearances:

Helen Shaver .... Grace Downs
John Kapelos .... Ray

Release Date: Theatrical: May 3, 1996

 

 

Rating:

 

A shy and near suicidal troubled teen named Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) is new in town with her widower father (Cliff DeYoung) and going to a new school called St. Benedicts Academy.

She seems to fall in love with one of the popular guys at school named Chris Hooker (Skeet Ulrich) as they have lunch together and go out on a date.
Also at her school there are 3 misfits that practice witchcraft lead by a gothic looking one named Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk) as they need a fourth one to cast actual spells and find Sarah the perfect one.
She accepts to join but finds out from the girls that Chris started talking trash about her.
Also one of the others named Rochelle (Rachel True) has a hard time in swimming class and her classmate named Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor) mocks her as Lizzie is racist of the fact that Rochelle is black.
The third girl named Bonnie (Neve Campbell) is scarred and hopes it will recover.

They all put drops of their blood in a cup with wine and drink to it with theuir spells.
Sarah's wish is that Chris will love her. Her wish comes true but realises that he is in too much love with her that he becomes obsessive and violent with her.
Rochelle notices that Lizzie is losing her hair and Bonnie loses her scars looking more attractive than ever.
Finally, Nancy gets her wish as she makes her violent stepfather have a heart attack and both her and her mother are wealthy out of his life insurance.

They also learn about using other powers too.
Nancy decides to buy a book on strong Black Magic witchcraft which is very dangerous as all of them go to a beach and do a chant there which causes a storm.

Sarah suddenly realises that their behaviors have changed in a bad way as well as discovering that Nancy killed Chris.
Sarah tells Nancy that she wants out of the group but Nancy threatens Sarah her life.

 

An impressive beginning revealing close up shots on pentagrams and candles laying on a table as well as nicely focused shots on the three misfits Nancy Bonnie and Rochelle doing a seance as this looked perfectly shot and performed too.
Plus nicely focused moments on the lead character Sarah Bailey looking glum while riding on a plane as this draws your attention making you curious about her and how she comes into the story.

There's a good surprising moment with Sarah in her garage and then some homeless man beringing her a constrictor as this totally looked out of the ordinary wondering why the hell he's doing this and how he comes into the story which shows some nice horror timing into what will unravel later on.
Also some good cheesy but effective moments on the three misfit girls walking to their catholic school holding their binders and how they do stuff in which this leaves an impression for sure that they're misfits as this shows off cleverly. Plus good shots on the popular kids mocking them too. For sure has a good vibe on everything that happens in this scene.
There's some interesting moments with Sarah at the school and meeting a popular guy who happens to be Chris Hooker as he discusses the three misfits in a negative way which is a good look at popular mean kids against the one's put upon as well as good shots on those three girls not acting normal while talking to one another during lunch break.
There's an effective moment with the girls getting together with Sarah as well as them walking along Hollywood Blvd and encountering strange people like religious fanatics which was shot suspensefully and pwoerfully too as well as the weirdo with the snakes trying to chase after Sarah in which this all looked impressive and creepy too. Plus a great suspnseful shot on this bum getting run over by a vehicle adding perfect terrors for this.
A nicely focused moment between Sarah and Chris having a deep discussion on top of a building which looked well concentrated on what they were talking about.
Perfect psychological and effective moment with the girls telling Sarah on what was said about her along with a perfect disappointment by what happens when she finds out the truth on what Chris has to tell her which makes you want to beat this creep up as it looked naturally done on a highschool backstabber revealing a realisitic look on mean kids.
Plus we spot a nice concentrated look on one of the girls named Rochelle that's about to dive into a swimming pool and acting nervous as well as the bully girl Laura giggling with her friend and then calling out something when she dives in which is a total psychological feel on someone trying to achieve something and getting thrown off by someone mocking at her. A nice add on to the story.
Also nice situations when we reveal all of these girls and their personal problems having some dark moments since it fits into the story as to why they turned to witchcraft as this was perfectly put in each having a dysfunctional situation. Nice shots on the moments too which draws you in greatly.
A nicely focused memorable moment with the group of friends practising one of their first witchcraft spells and Rochelle lying down to see if she will rise as there's great camera shots looking down at her rising up as the spells seemed to look obvious for them to happen right away but yet it keeps you watching wondering if these girls will lose concentration after they spot her rised up in the air and that she will fall. Then there's a perfect disturbance with one of the girls mother coming in to put away laundry which of course catches you by surprise adding nice timing here since things were silent and still.
Also a good peaceful moment with them out in a field doing another spell and putting a curse on Laura as well as good moments on butterflies swarming around while their magic works when we see Sarah revealing a new hairjob with her magic. It seemed corny for this to happen though.
Things seem more corny when Chris is eager to be with Sarah proving that her magic worked which also looked too obvious on what was going on but yet seemed to work in well when a catholic ceremony is about to begin and some of her friends lend him their binders to carry to the classroom.
Also some nice close up shots on Laura realising that her hair is falling out and a nice shot on Rochelle diving into the pool which worked in nicely for the scene.

Plus a perfect moment with Nancy's wish when we spot her drunken stepdad getting violent which looked perfectly intense and then he suddenly drops dead which looked well paced while we see this happening.
Things look truly gross and disturbing when Rochelle follows a trail of hair in the girls changing room shower and spotting Laura almost bald crying as this was well done. Definetely shows a perfect karma moment on her nasty deeds beforehand.
Perfect situation with the girls walking into the wkitchcraft bookstore and Nancy spotting a book and shows a page revealing a picture of a thunderstorm happening as this psych's you out as well as her wanting to buy it and the owner warning that it's dangerous to have unless experienced with witchcraft as this was perfectly put into the story knowing that the real horror will come in soon.
Great shots on each of them walking towards a beach as well as what they're carrying for their next ceremony as this looked impressive and making you wonder as to what they will be used for this time and having a feeling maybe for a sacrifice too.
Plus neat thunderstorm moments with them doing their ceremony which looked powerfully done and should please horror fans greatly by what we see happening as well as them waking up and spotting sharks along the shore which looked strange but amusing.
A great horror moment with the three girls Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle floating in to Sarah's room with perfect ghostllike features and sneering at her which is a great horror moment and almost has a Lost Boys type of appeal to this. It makes you wonder if she's dreaming or not when we spot this moment.
A neat intimidating moment with the girls cornering Sarah in the girls room and getting demanding with her as well as suggestive threats coming towards Nancy about what happens while betraying another witch as this leaves a nice chill down your spine and a perfect look at highschool bullying too.
Also a perfect moment with Chris still stalking Sarah and getting forceful on her trying to rape her as this looked powerfully done and leaving an impression to be careful on what to wish for cause it may come true. This makes you watch carefully wondering if she will manage to get away from him.
Also a perfect creepy moment with nancy getting evil and nasty towards Chris showing her feet rising from the air and floating towards him as this seemed to borrow from the Night of the Demons flicks when you watch on what happens here.
The horror is yet to come which looked marvellously done when Sarah enters her dark home to be taunted by many things and discovering that Nancy has the power to do this as well as showing Sarah's fear on this as this adds a perfect psychological tough to everything wondering if she will gain courage to fight back. Perfect powerful battling scene's between both of these people as well as great windy effects adding a nice touch to the story.
A film that uses great imagination of having your wishes come true especially to mean highschool kids but something bad happens in the end. An excellent story as well as great effects and nice scenery as it borrows a bit from Carrie but instead of telekinetic powers there's witchcraft involved. A nice scene with some outsider girls getting together and trying to seek revenge against their foes in school which was done in a very clever fashion. It also shows a message about karma and how it can strike at you if you've done a bad deed to any of your classmates too as well as wishing too much for something and it just gets to be extremely tiresome and annoying. So be careful for what you wish for.
I'd highly recommend this movie for any horror buff.

The acting is terrific. Although this was shot in Los Angeles a few Canadian actors were cast in this one. Robin Tunney (Sarah Bailey) definetely stood out the most of all the cast with her wholesome features and nice girl attitude. Shows off a modern shyness as well as having a nice attitude on everything. Plus she does a great job with her disturbed and emotional behavior within whatever she did in the film. Shows off alot of great energetic behavior within all that she did here. She certainly became a terrific drawing card and character for the story. A real natural too.
Fairuza Balk (Nancy Downs) lived to play the head witch in the film with her tough girl and gothic features. Does a nice job with her spaced out bheavior and gruff attitude as well as coming across as perfectly sarcastic too. Also was great by going wild and crazy as well as losing control. She came across perfectly as a madwoman with the power getting to her as well as showing perfect wildlike expressions too. She studied this role inside out.
Neve Campbell (Bonnie) did her job nicely as someone whom is tense as well as cautious. Plus does show some good upsetting and screaming emotions when she's in pain. Also shows off a great stuck up attitude as well as doing well by getting aggressive too.
Rachel True (Rochelle) does a fine job acting slick and mellow within her role. Also does well acting nervous while going on a diving board. Plus shows off a nice, warm and concerning behavior too. Shows a nice versatality later on having a stuck up behavior and acting wicked too which isn't too shabbily done either.
Skeet
Ulrich (Chris Hooker) was great with his decieving charm and romantic attitude and then turns on this person the next day as a perfect preppie asshole backstabber as one of those typical teenage scumbag bullies who gets their jollies upsetting others in the end as he made his part come to life on all of that. When he is under a spell by acting obsessively in love is a bit over the top yet seemed to fit into what was in the story. Just wasn't as good as when he was the jerk. However was nicely intense when trying to force himself on this person later on.
Christine Taylor (Laura Lizzie) stood out pretty well in her supporting role as the stuck up racist bitch but sounds a little too soft spoken while acting mean. She had the right hot girl looks though. Also does a great job with her crying and upsetting emotions when she is losing her hair which was right on target and believeable too.
Breckin Meyer (Mitt) seemed to do a noticeable job as one of those dorky teens who likes to go along with tormenting the outsiders and came across as perfectly annoying. I enjoyed his performance and seemed to be on the ball while speaking his lines which he shows perfect energy when doing all of this.
Cliff DeYoung (Mr. Bailey) was a natural as a protective father in the film and shows a good concenred attitude within all that he did in the story. Also does well while acting stern whenever was necessary. Plus shows a nice warm type of attitude as he knew his craft playing this type of role but often has played these types.
Assumpta Serna (Lirio) was great with her angelic presence as the owner of a witchcraft bookstore in which she had the perfect features and presence to portray this role. Shows off a nice and warm personality and was good with her accent and speaking. She had the most effect key supporting role.

There is a flashback scene of Sarah slashing her wrists.

The music was composed by Graeme Revell and does well with it but has composed for many other successful motion pictures so it's not a surprise. There's alot of hissing and high intense screeching sounds especially for the ceremonial moments or the terrors that strike in the film along with powerful classical music that isn't overly done which is a good thing. Good dark and low sounds too.

We also have a soundtrack by artists like Our Lady Peace, Heather Nova, Sponge, Letters to Cleo, Love Spit Love, Matthew Sweet, Juliana Hatfield, Tripping Daisy, Jewel, All Too Much, Elastica, Spacehog, The Banshees, Connie Francis and Portishead.

Sarah: Hey, Chris, fuck you!
Chris: Nah.
Mitt: But I will.
[looks to Trey as Sarah runs off, upset]
Mitt: She's gonna cry, then I'm gonna cry, and we're all gonna cry!

Nancy: If God and the Devil were playing football, Manon would be the stadium that they played on.

Nancy: Have you ever heard of invoking the spirit? It's when you call him... Manon. It's like... it's like you take him into you. It's like he fills you. He takes everything that's gone wrong in your life and makes it all better again.

Sarah: What's wrong with her?
Rochelle: Her spell's not working.
Bonnie: What spell?
Rochelle: I don't know. She doesn't want to be white trash anymore. I told her, "You're white honey! Just get over it."

Driver: Watch out for the weirdos, girls.
Nancy: We are the weirdos, mister.

Nancy: I drink of my sisters, and I take into myself... all the power of Manon
Sarah: That's all?

Sarah: Did you tell your friends?
Chris: ...what?
Sarah: That you're a lying sack of shit.
Chris: No... b-but I will!

Laura Lizzie: Ow! You pulled my hair out!
Sarah: Sorry, I thought I saw a bug. They have shampoo for that, you know.
Laura Lizzie: You... stupid bitch.

Mr. Bailey: Can I help you?
Chris: No one can help me.

Rochelle: All these songs are by Connie Francis.
Grace: Yeah, isn't that great? Since I was a little girl all I've wanted in life was a jukebox that played nothing but Connie Francis records.
Bonnie: That's great.
Rochelle: Who's Connie Francis?
Grace: Who's Connie Francis? Honey, listen and learn! Connie Francis!

Chris: Sarah, come on, I mean... you look like you need to talk to somebody anyway.
Sarah: How do you know what I look like? We're talking on the phone.

Nancy: [after finding out that Chris had tried to rape Sarah] I'm gonna go play.

Nancy: You know, in the old days, if a witch betrayed her coven, they would kill her.

Nancy: You know, if I were as pathetic as you are, I would have killed myself *ages* ago. You should get on with it.

Nancy: What's wrong with your scar, Sarah?
[Nancy cuts her]
Sarah: No, its not real.
Nancy: Then why are you still bleeding! Run- run to your bedroom like the little coward that you are. She's so pathetic!

Sarah: Relax... it's only magic. Now who's fucking pathetic?

Sarah: Nothing makes everything all better again.
Nancy: Maybe not for you...