Friday Film Review: The Craft

N CAMPBELL,F BALK,TRUE,TUNNEY THE CRAFT COLUMBIA 01/05/1996 CTJ27346

So here we are, the first of the Halloween series!  Let’s start with a cult classic, The Craft.

Quick breakdown:
It’s about a girl moving to a new town (surprise!) and she encounters 3 witches at her new school, who, surprisingly, are actually outcasts.  She encounters some bullying, and quickly connects with them.  The witches discover she actually is a natural witch herself.  Match made in heaven!  They become besties and live happily ever after calling the corners and chanting to nature.

Eh, not so much the last part.

I love supernatural movies, especially ones about witches.  I’m not exactly sure why, it could just be the magic aspect.  It’s definitely not because Hollywood represents witches accurately.  However, this film is actually pretty even-keeled.  It shows them doing “witchy” things, like calling up the corners (N, S, E, W), it talks about animal powers, there’s even some accurate information on the technical aspects of witch magic (negative energy is returned 3-fold), and we even see the leader of the pack, Nancy (Balk) use an athame, but maybe not in a completely authentic way.

But I’ll tell you right now, not one piece of historical information in the film is correct in the slightest.

That’s OK though.  It’s Hollywood.  It’d be a pretty crap spooky film if it showed witches how they really were: which were pagans that used magic for good.  The bad stuff was invented by the Catholic Church (which, btw, is heavily referenced in this film – WIN).

Now that you’ve had your incredibly quick and dirty history lesson, let’s move on.

This isn’t a film that even demonizes witches anyway.  It demonizes teenagers.  Especially angsty ones that get bullied and have a rough background, or, I guess, are black?

I’d like to point out IMDB’s synopsis for a second: “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.”

SLIGHTLY anger them?  One girl says she bullies one of the girls, Rochelle, because she’s a “negroid.”  Um, yeah.  I’d be super pissed at that too.  The magic she used wasn’t exactly an over reaction (OMG, maybe I’m an angsty teen!).  The love spell that’s used isn’t really revenge, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to being rejected by an asshole jock.  Plus, it turns him into a rapist, so sorry if I don’t exactly feel “bad” for him.  And the other two witches: one uses a spell to make herself pretty, and the other to have unlimited power.  You know, angsty teen stuff.

Not surprisingly, Nancy goes crazy by having unlimited power.  Trust me, you see it coming.  Since she’s the leader of the group, the others (except the new girl) go along with her.

So really, this movie is about how dangerous teens can be in a click.  And if they came upon getting magic, the balance of powers would tilt, and all would be lost.

I highly recommend this classic.  It’s a twist on the high school drama, and is incredibly dark, with enough humor to balance it out.  The writing isn’t GREAT and it is dated in some aspects, but all in all, I think it’s a pretty good Halloween movie.  Another thing with this film that I really just LOVED that wasn’t really addressed completely, but was throughout the entire movie.  The “glamour” part of their magic.  Was it all tricks to create illusion?  If so, the movie is completely psychological, and almost more terrifying if everything that happened was mostly in their minds.

Favorite Line: “Since I was a little girl all I’ve wanted in life was a jukebox that played nothing but Connie Francis records.” – Grace, Nancy’s mom.  Because she wins for my favorite character because of her pants.

Favorite Scene: The scene in the beginning where the creepy guy with the snake comes into the house.  It’s hilarious, even though it’s supposed to be creepy.  Especially when the dad chases him out like a stray cat.

IMBD Stats:
Release: 1996
Director: Andrew Fleming
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Rating: R (language, violence)

Currently streaming on Netflix.

 

Since I can’t exactly review all the movies I watch on Netflix for Halloween, I’ve put a list together of other Halloween movies under the “supernatral” category on Netflix that’d I’d recommend you check out, because I probably won’t watch these this year:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Vampires)
Rosemary’s Baby (Supernatural/Satan)
Carrie (Supernatural/Telekinesis) 
Nosferatu (Vintage Vampire)
Leprechaun (Supernatural/Campy)
House (Supernatural/Campy)
Ravenous (Horribly inaccurate representation of Windigo, a Native American folklore/Cannibalism)
Night Watch (Vampires/Foreign)
Dead End (Supernatural/Campy/Ray Wise)

More for Movie Night.

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