The Craft – USA, 1996

THE CRAFT - Japanese Poster

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Andrew Fleming from a screenplay co-written with Peter Filardi.

The movie stars Robin Tunney (End of Days), Fairuza Balk (The Worst WitchThe Island of Dr. Moreau), Neve Campbell (Scream and sequels), Rachel True (Embrace of the Vampire) and Skeet Ulrich (Scream).

The Craft was released domestically on May 3, 1996, by Columbia Pictures and took $24,819,936 at the box office.

A Collector’s Edition Blu-ray will be released on March 12, 2019, by Scream Factory. Artist Joel Robinson designed the new cover art (above, click to enlarge) and the original theatrical poster will be on the reverse of the sleeve. Special features will be announced nearer the release date. However, Scream Factory has confirmed that all previous extras will be ported over, along with new interviews with directir Andrew Fleming, co-writer Peter Fildari, makeup effects supervisor Tony Gardner, and producer Doug Wick.

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The film, which features an alt. rock soundtrack that includes Love Spit Love’s grunge cover of The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now” and a score by horror regular Graeme Revell (Freddy vs. JasonGrindhouse: Planet TerrorRiddick), became a $55 million sleeper hit at the box office. It has since gained a cult following, especially amongst goth teenage girls who identify with the lead characters.

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney), a troubled teenager, has just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother. At her new Catholic school, she forms a friendship with a group of girls rumored to be witches, Bonnie (Neve Campbell), Nancy (Fairuza Balk) and Rochelle (Rachel True). At the same time, Sarah becomes attracted to the popular Chris (Skeet Ulrich).

Bonnie, Nancy and Rochelle worship a powerful deity named “Manon”. Sarah exhibits supernatural powers from the onset of the film, and her new friends believe that she will complete their coven, making them all powerful. When Sarah is harassed by a vagrant with a snake (whom she had encountered before in her new house), he is immediately hit by a car to die and the girls believe that together they willed it to happen…

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Reviews:

“Fleming’s film begins promisingly as a black comedy a la Heathers, but then quickly succumbs to its machinery of special effects; this is yet another bad picture in a long list of Hollywood flops about witchcraft. Still, young audiences, particularly women, are likely to connect with this energetic high-school tale about the vengeful empowerment of rebellious misfits…” Emanuel Levy, Variety

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“Not only does The Craft rise to the top of the slew of teen movies made over the years, it also stands up as a queer classic. Feelings of being an outsider and defected, searching for an identity whilst trying to fit in, overcoming all the struggles along the way and establishing yourself in your own terms is something every gay person can identify with. This is not just another teen movie.” Andrew Darley, Polari Magazine

 

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The Craft might sound like a teenage movie, but it has a very dark, intense undertone, and a banging soundtrack … The actors are great, especially Fairuza Balk, I mean, can it get any creepier? And even though the actors were much older than the characters they were playing, it seems realistic … amazing camera work, the interesting storyline, the facts about witchcraft, and if you look at it, it basically shows you the consequences of bullying.” Simon Says… Watch This!

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“From being semi-interesting about four girls who play with powers you can realise from the get-go are going to be a very bad idea, it turns into a generic mid-90s teen horror flick. As films go, it’s predictable – hanging out with the wrong crowd, the bad girls … not like you can’t see how that’s going to end, or who is going to let the power go to her head the most. Still, I was actually quite entertained.” Traxy Thornfield, The Squeee

Cast and characters:

  • Robin Tunney … Sarah Bailey
  • Fairuza Balk … Nancy Downs
  • Neve Campbell … Bonnie Harper
  • Rachel True … Rochelle Zimmerman
  • Skeet Ulrich … Chris Hooker
  • Cliff DeYoung … Mr. Bailey
  • Christine Taylor … Laura Lizzie
  • Breckin Meyer … Mitt
  • Nathaniel Marston … Trey
  • Helen Shaver … Grace Downs
  • Assumpta Serna … Lirio
  • William Newman … Street Preacher
  • Brenda Strong … Doctor

 

 

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