The Craft (film)

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The Craft
The craft movie poster.jpg
original movie poster
Directed by Andrew Fleming
Produced by Ginny Nugent
Lisa Tornell
Douglas Wick
Written by Andrew Fleming
Peter Filardi
Starring Robin Tunney
Fairuza Balk
Neve Campbell
Rachel True
Music by Graeme Revell
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 3, 1996 (1996-05-03)
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15,000,000[1]
Box office $55,669,466[1]

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, and Skeet Ulrich. The film's plot centers on a group of four teenage girls who pursue witchcraft and use sorcery for their own gain. The film was released on May 3, 1996, by Columbia Pictures.

Plot[edit]

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney), a troubled teenager with a grim past, moves to Los Angeles from San Francisco with her father and stepmother. At her new school, St. Benedict’s Academy, she makes friends with a group of outcasts rumored to be witches by their peers; Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True). Each of the girls are also troubled in their own ways—Nancy lives poor in a trailer park with her mother and abusive stepfather, Bonnie has low self-esteem from burn scars that cover her body from an unknown accident, and Rochelle, being the only African-American at her school, is targeted by racist bully Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor). Sarah also meets and becomes attracted to school football captain Chris Hooker (Skeet Ulrich), who is a playboy. Bonnie first discovers Sarah in their French class after she witnesses Sarah telekinetically turn a pencil on her desk. It is later revealed that due to difficulty with her powers, Sarah attempted suicide. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle believe that she will complete their coven as the fourth member, making them all powerful.

After school that day, the three girls formally introduce themselves to Sarah, who is watching Chris practice. Nancy warns her about seeing him; “he spreads disease. I speak from personal experience.” They take a trip to the local occult shop owned by Lirio, who is well-versed in magic and even senses that unlike her friends, Sarah is a “natural witch” whose power comes from within. Later, 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. As the girls explain to Sarah the potential of their power as a coven, she is afraid of the idea and goes to join Chris.

After her date with Chris, Sarah is upset to find that he has spread a false rumor that they had sex, and he treats her disrespectfully in other ways. In order to comfort Sarah, her new friends cheer her up by taking her to a remote area in the forest to perform a ritual in which they cast several spells—Sarah casts a love spell on Chris, Rochelle casts a revenge spell on Laura, Bonnie casts a spell for beauty, and Nancy for “all the power of Manon”. It very soon becomes clear that the spells have been successful: Chris becomes infatuated with Sarah, the scars on Bonnie’s body miraculously heal and go away, and Rochelle's bully begins to lose her hair. Nancy goes further by causing her abusive stepfather to have a heart attack and die after he attempts to hurt her mother. Soon after his death, Nancy and her mother find out they were left $175,000 from his insurance policy and they move into a posh high-rise apartment. During a get-together at Nancy’s new home, the girls learn and perform glamour magic.

Nancy becomes greedy for power and encourages the others to join her in a rite called "Invoking the Spirit". At the climax of the ritual, she is struck by lightning and granted what she had asked for. Afterward, she begins taking risks with her life and those of others, and any empathy she has quickly disappears. The spells that the girls have cast soon begin to show negative consequences: Bonnie becomes conceited and narcissistic; Rochelle finds Laura traumatized by her baldness and sobbing hysterically; Chris attempts to rape Sarah one night in a remote location after parking his car near a cliff. Angry at what Chris tried to do to her friend, Nancy retaliates and uses her power to kill Chris by causing him to fall out of a window to his death at a party. Horrified of the event, Sarah performs a binding spell to prevent Nancy from doing more harm, but due to Nancy’s newfound extreme power, she senses it and the coven turns on her.

Alone and scared, Sarah turns to Lirio, who offers her encouragement to invoke the Spirit herself. Sarah, fearing that she will meet the same fate as Nancy, expresses this and Lirio tells her that she knows she is powerful enough to do so without adverse effects because she had inherited her power from her late mother, who was also a natural witch. Frightened by an illusion of fire burning down the store (caused by Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle), she flees and that night, the girls threaten her and use their powers to make Sarah believe that her father and stepmother have been killed in a plane crash. They taunt her with visions of swarms of insects and snakes, making them appear everywhere in her house. They try to make her commit suicide, but Nancy cuts Sarah's wrists herself. Sarah, with encouragement of her deceased mother’s spirit, successfully "invokes the Spirit" and is able to heal herself and fight back. Sarah scares off Bonnie and Rochelle by showing their reflections in the mirror of Rochelle losing her hair and Bonnie in her original, scarred state. Sarah goes on to defeat Nancy, binding her power to prevent her from doing any more harm.

As the film closes, Bonnie and Rochelle appear at Sarah’s house one day and ask her if she wants to “call the corners” or if she still has powers. Realizing Sarah wants nothing to do with either of them, they walk away and mock her. Sarah causes a storm and lightning strikes a tree, the branch falling off and nearly crushing the two girls. Sarah says, “be careful. You don’t want to end up like Nancy.” Meanwhile, Nancy has been confined to a psychiatric hospital, and as she is given a sedative by a nurse, she screams and convulses, still believing she has powers. Her final words before sleeping are “I’m flying”.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The Craft received mixed reviews from critics; it currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 31 reviews.

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #1 in the North American Box office making $6,710,995USD. The movie was a sleeper hit & cult favorite.[2] According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, The Craft is the 8th highest grossing movie since 1980 dealing with the genre of witches.[3]

A straight-to-DVD sequel was in the works,[4] but was terminated.[5]

Home media[edit]

Following the film's theatrical release, The Craft was released in VHS format in the United States on April 1, 1997 via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. A second VHS edition was made available from Sony on April 14, 1998; this edition contained the film's original widescreen format. In the United Kingdom, the film was released on VHS by home entertainment company Cinema Club on August 6, 2001. The film has been made available as a double feature in the UK; Cinema Club released it with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on December 27, 2000, and Uca Home Entertainment released it with Disturbing Behavior on March 17, 2003. Cinema Club also release it in a triple feature, included with Urban Legend and Phantoms.

In the United States, the film made its DVD debut on August 6, 1997 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in a 'Deluxe Widescreen Presentation' edition. September 12, 2000 saw the release of the 'Special Edition' which featured a collection of special features including an Isolated Music Score, Director's Commentary, 3 Deleted Scenes, Original Featurette, Theatrical Trailers, Talent Files and Exclusive Making-Of Featurette: "Conjuring The Craft". Sony released the film with Wild Things as part of a 'Double Feature' on November 23, 2007, and another released was made on June 1, 2010 in a 'Dreadtime Stories' edition with The Woods. The Craft was first made in available on DVD in the United Kingdom on September 14, 1998 by Sony and the 'Collector's Edition' was released by Sony on December 4, 2000. Another standard edition became available on December 10, 2007 via Uca.

The film was released on LaserDisc in 1996 as a deluxe widescreen presentation.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the film on UMD for Play Station Portable (PSP) in the United States and United Kingdom on May 20, 2008.

On October 13, 2009, Sony made The Craft available on Blu-ray format in the United States. It was released in Australia on Blu-ray on June 2, 2010 via Blu-ray by Sony.

The Craft was also released in several other countries via VHS, DVD and Blu-ray. Such countries include Germany where it is known as Der Hexenclub.

Soundtrack[edit]

Music From the Motion Picture[edit]

No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "Tomorrow Never Knows"   Our Lady Peace 4:14
2. "I Have the Touch"   Heather Nova 4:17
3. "All This and Nothing"   Sponge 4:19
4. "Dangerous Type"   Letters to Cleo 3:39
5. "How Soon Is Now?"   Love Spit Love 4:25
6. "Dark Secret"   Matthew Sweet 4:04
7. "Witches Song"   Juliana Hatfield 4:35
8. "Jump Into the Fire"   Tripping Daisy 5:45
9. "Under the Water"   Jewel 4:58
10. "Warning"   All Too Much 4:44
11. "Spastica"   Elastica 2:31
12. "The Horror"   Spacehog 4:49
13. "Bells, Books and Candles"   Graeme Revell 4:47

Original Motion Picture Score[edit]

No. Title Composer(s) Length
1. "Ours Is the Power"   Graeme Revell 1:07
2. "Bitches of Eastwick"   Graeme Revell 3:17
3. "Natural Witch"   Graeme Revell 1:28
4. "Calling the Corners"   Graeme Revell 1:31
5. "Magic Store"   Graeme Revell 2:18
6. "Bonnie"   Graeme Revell 2:22
7. "Invocation"   Graeme Revell 4:24
8. "Glamour"   Graeme Revell 2:00
9. "Nightmare"   Graeme Revell 1:49
10. "Behind the Curtain"   Graeme Revell 2:15
11. "By the Power of 3 X 3"   Graeme Revell 4:27
12. "Sarah's Revenge"   Graeme Revell 1:37
13. "Trouble With Snakes and Insects"   Graeme Revell 1:52
14. "I Bind You, Nancy"   Graeme Revell 2:30
15. "Lightning Strikes"   Graeme Revell 2:04

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Craft". the-numbers.com. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Craft Has the Knack for Scaring Up an Audience". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Witch Movies". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  4. ^ "The Craft – Sequel". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  5. ^ "BD Horror News – 'The Craft' Sequel Officially Dead in the Water". Bloody-disgusting.com. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 

External links[edit]