The Craft (1996)

This is a review posted originally by me on letterboxd. Written on the 30th September 2012. Enjoy!

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The Craft is hated on by many, deemed one in a long list of failed Hollywood attempts at the “teen witch” genre. At the time of its release, it was slated for the ponderous morals of its latter half, and it is true that after the film’s close, its messages “be careful what you wish for” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” leave a bitter taste.

However, in retrospect it has been easier for viewers to set aside the clichéd ending, and to appreciate the earlier moments of witticism. These gems of dark humour (the scene in which racist bully Laura’s hair falls out being a good example) draw similarities with the 1989 high school classic “Heathers”.

The film very cleverly and engagingly deals with the politics of teenage friendship. Its scenes where the girls group together to talk “wicca” are surprisingly captivating, and time is taken to develop each character’s insecurities. Neve Campbell is brilliant as Bonnie, a girl suffering from intense self consciousness and all consuming vanity, and Fairuza Balk’s Nancy is deliciously terrifying, yet never straightforwardly evil. Her crime against Chris is not an unfeeling act, but a mixture of jealousy, and anger in the face of shallow and destructive male sexuality.

It is for these reasons that The Craft’s legacy has lasted. For such a poorly rated film, it is incredibly watchable, and with a kick ass soundtrack, it resists unfair criticism and remains a 90s classic.



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