The Craft (1996)

The Craft (1996) movie poster

director Andrew Fleming
viewed: 09/26/2014

I’d seen The Craft back in its day, most likely in some form on cable because its level, of interest for me was variable.  One thing about no longer being a teen (I was in my 20’s in 1996), the teen movies of the time play differently.  I think that the 1990’s were not a bad time for teen movies, though I don’t know if any truly great ones came out then.  An interesting question to look into, perhaps?

The Craft is kind of like The Witches of Eastwick (1987) in high school (Does anyone even remember The Witches of Eastwick?)  But it doesn’t have a literary source (no John Updike story, this).  But it is about a group of Los Angeles Catholic school girls who form a coven with a new member, only to go mad with power and hubris.

Most notably, the cast includes Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, and Neve Campbell as three of the four.  Rachel True is the fourth.  Skeet Ulrich is the young bad boy from the school and Christine Taylor has the racist mean girl.  Campbell would star in Scream in the same year and “blow up” as they say nowadays.  Falk is the dark-hearted goth villainess in probably one of her most memorable roles.  Tunney was the star, and a fairly promising one at that, whose career didn’t manage to take off as significantly as Campbell’s.

Often the judge of a teen movie often comes back to the casting of the film.  How many faces are congregated as young up-and-comers in the midst of the story?  It can be a sign of a good core for the film.

Really, it’s a pretty decent flick.  It’s not so much an R-rated affair except for the fact we’ve got teenage witches (Ooh, minds are so corruptible!) Actually, the witch thing was probably at its height at that point of the 1990’s, so it had a timeliness.  But it’s whole heart about social pressure, bullying, friendships and such has probable present day correlations too.

It’s another one of those movies that I thought was okay when I saw it back in the day but now for which I have a slightly better appreciation.  It’s not radical or poignant or even top-notch, but it’s a good teen horror thriller with a good cast.

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