Yes, these days the Halloween celebration has spread across the entire month of October but over on the couch we believe in good ol’ fashioned THIRTEEN nights! I would like to say it’s to honor the ABC family days, but it also might be a bit because drawing out a list of 31 flicks didn’t seem like an achievable goal?
Anywho, to kick off the first night we are celebrating the 1996 horror/fantasy cult classic, The Craft. Let’s go put some hexes on some popular girls!
The Cast: Right out the gates we have to hand it to the iconic cast of this movie. We have Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich who would both go on to star in Scream later that same year.
Christine Taylor as our blonde bully, Robin Tunney as the new girl/hero of the story, and of course, from Waterboy fame and queen of playing insane, Fairuza Balk.
Wrapping up the foursome of witches we had Rachel True and these witches together (for the first half of the movie in my opinion) created something super special. Yes, the magic, but the chemistry between these four ladies was outstanding and you watch this movie hoping it’s a series as opposed to a one-and-done film because you just can’t get enough.
You feel for their personal struggles and more importantly for their bond to each other.
Magic, Duh: Who are we kidding though- what knocked this out of the park was the witchcraft! This movie has some iconic moments but ones that come quickly to mind are the hair color spell, Bonnie’s scar removal, the sleepover scene with Rochelle, and the forest wine drink.
Of course, the magic picks up towards the second half of the film but in a different context; more on that in a minute.
The Craft in its first half, by taking the chemistry of the actressess and the simple spells, created an environment you wanted to hang out in. You wanted to be at the sleepover with these girls experimenting with magic and having a laugh. It’s what makes the movie so special- at least for me.
Careful What You Wish For: The second half of the movie… Oh boy. Who can ever forget Nancy going nuts like a bobblehead before pushing Chris to his doom!
This happens in the build up after Nancy starts to grow more and more powerful than the other girls. They have graduated beyond an escape from their lives filled with uncontrollabe circumstances to essentially playing God.
Though characters like Rochelle show remorse for whats inflected on their bullies, Nancy is straight up ready to kill anyone!
I was fine with the demise of Nancy, which is foreshadowed and set up so well, but I hate that the other three didn’t band together against her. Maybe it’s my being too much of a 90s Charmed fan but the climax of this movie could have really used some power of three action!
Instead, we have Sarah stand on her own taking down her corrupt sisters. A powerful end nonetheless but I still feel there was space for Bonnie and Rochelle to be redeemed up until the final confrontation. Oh well.
The Craft is not just a great Halloween movie for its witch activities but likely set the tone for the witch genre for years to come and would receive homages even in the most random of places. For example, in the early 2000s animated series X-Men Evolution, there is an all female episode that features the lead characters walking down the hall in an almost stop motion recreation of the girls doing the same in this film. What? I’m a comics guy I had to mention it.
Of course, as previously mentioned, it might be safe to say that the success of this movie served as a strong push for the successful launch of the Charmed series on the then WB.