May 6, 2016 The Craft – Casting Spells 20 Years Later
“Light as a feather, stiff as a board,” is one of the magical games that a group of teen Witches conjured up in this beloved Supernatural Horror film, The Craft, which was released twenty years ago on May 3rd, 1996. For anyone who grew up in the nineties, there is a good chance they played this game in hopes that maybe, just maybe, it would be true. Sadly, many teenagers were disappointed when no bodies mysteriously lifted up off from the floor, but that is okay – the film still remains a fan favorite! Directed by Andrew Fleming (Dick 1999, Nancy Drew 2007) and produced by Douglas Wick (Gladiator 2000, Divergent 2014), based on the amazing screenplay by Peter Filardi (Flatliners 1990, Salem’s Lot 2004), one of the best things about the movie is the musical score by Graeme Revell (Sin City 2005, Pineapple Express 2008). The killer motion picture soundtrack is highlighted by artists such as Letters to Cleo, Tripping Daisy, and Jewel. As soon as the music plays, it puts the viewer back in the nineties with a smile on their face.
The Craft was filmed in a variety of locations in California with an estimated budget of $15 million dollars and made over approximately $55 million dollars at the box office. Like most teenage stories, this film takes place in a high school – Catholic specifically – and evolves around the world of magic, peer pressure, and heartache. The casting was pure genius and helped make this simple Witch story a legendary one by starring Robin Tunney (Vertical Limit 2000, The Mentalist 2008), Fairuza Balk (American History X 1998, Almost Famous 2000), Neve Campbell (Scream 1996, Wild Things 1998), Rachel True (Nowhere 1997, Half Baked 1998), and Skeet Ulrich (Scream 1996, Jericho 2006).
The nineties was a big year for these actors, many of them taking on multiple projects. Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich were both starring in Scream, having worked together in The Craft helped their chemistry while on set for that Slasher film. Robin Tunney had just previously finished wrapping up 1995’s Empire Records, a role in which she shaved her head, resulting in her wearing an orange-blonde wig throughout this set of The Craft. Actress Fairuza was an actual Wiccan and helped provide information for the film and later on bought Panpipes Magickal Marketplace in Hollywood.
But why is this film so memorable? Well, The Craft follows Sarah (Tunney) as she moves into a new town and is enrolled into a Catholic high school called St. Benedict’s – wearing the typical Catholic schoolgirl uniform. While getting used to her new surroundings, she is introduced to three classmates: Nancy (Balk), Bonnie (Campbell), and Rochelle (True). But everyone says to keep far away from them, specifically, the handsomely sly Chris (Ulrich), who claims the girls are Witches and nothing but trouble. Sarah finds Chris’ welcoming demeanor refreshing and goes out with him.
After turning him down for sex, Chris starts rumors about Sarah which has her running into the arms of the three witches. With Sarah in the picture, they finally have their 4th member and can practice magic. They develop a bond, learn new spells, and each uses their new abilities to drastically change things in their life that they hated. To no surprise, they take advantage of their new found powers, becoming greedy and dangerous; as per usual, magic always comes with a price. But will they learn before it is too late?
Although this film is mostly about teen Witches, there are still some creepy and slightly dark factors. Nancy is incredibly evil and the few scenes where she goes completely insane are amazing, including the ideas she puts into Sarah’s head. One of the more memorable quotes, “I bind you Nancy from doing harm; harm against others and harm against yourself,” is also a part of one of the more unforgettable scenes towards the film’s conclusion. In this part of the film, every creepy crawly comes out to play. The scene involved spiders, maggots, worms, and over 3,000 different types of snakes; pythons, boas, water snakes, garter snakes, rat snakes, and even a 10-foot Amazon constrictor! For some, that is worse than seeing a head torn off or endless amounts of blood any day.
This magical film is a timeless classic that has brought fans memorable quotes, interesting characters, nostalgic music, and fun spells. Most fans cannot believe how many years have passed since this witchy creation was made. Most recently, the talk of a reboot for The Craft has been discussed – taking place twenty years after the original. Most fans were outraged by the thought of a remake, but now that it is more of a sequel, audiences are wondering what the storyline will be and who will play the characters. One thing for sure is there will never be anything like the original story and the characters that lit up with their magic!