The Craft (film)

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The Craft
The craft movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release 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 thriller film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. 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.


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 befriends a group of outcasts rumored by their peers to be witches--Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True). Each of the girls suffers from a formidable problem of her own: Nancy lives in a trailer park with her mother and abusive stepfather, Bonnie suffers from low self-esteem due to the burn scars that cover her body, 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 the womanizing football captain Chris Hooker (Skeet Ulrich).

Bonnie's attention is called to Sarah in their French class, when she witnesses Sarah telekinetically rotating a pencil. It is later revealed that Sarah has in the past attempted suicide because of difficulty in controlling her powers. Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle decide that Sarah's membership in their coven is necessary to enhance their comparatively paltry abilities.

After school that day, the three girls find Sarah watching Chris' football practice from beside the field, and introduce themselves. Nancy warns her against sexual involvement with Chris: “He spreads disease. I speak from personal experience.” They take a trip to the local occult shop owned by Lirio, a woman who seems to have psychic abilities and is well-versed in the practice of magic. Lirio informs Sarah that, unlike her friends, she is a “natural witch,” whose power comes from within. She also warns the girls that anything they put out into the world will return to them three-fold.

Later, on the street, Sarah is harassed for the second time by a snake-bearing vagrant, who is quickly struck by a car. The other three girls excitedly exclaim that their collective telekinetic powers were responsible for this event. The girls attempt to convince Sarah of the righteousness of this action and benefits of their new-found strength, but she abandons them temporarily and secretly goes on a date with Chris.

The next day, Sarah is upset to find that Chris has spread a false rumor that the two had sex, seemingly in retaliation for her polite rejection of his proposition at the end of their date. In order to comfort Sarah, the three girls take her to a remote area in the forest to perform a ritual involving 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 soon becomes clear that the spells were successful--Chris becomes infatuated with Sarah, the scars on Bonnie’s body miraculously heal, and Rochelle's bully begins to go bald. Nancy goes further by causing her stepfather to have a fatal heart attack as he violently assaults her mother. Nancy and her mother then learn they will receive $175,000 from his insurance, 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, desirous of still more power, encourages the others to join her in a rite called "Invoking the Spirit," in which she asks Manon to further increase her magical ability. Her risk-taking behavior continues to increase as her empathy recedes. The other girls begin to discover the disastrous consequences of their respective spells: Bonnie becomes conceited and narcissistic, Laura is pathetically traumatized by her baldness, and Chris attempts to rape Sarah.

Nancy retaliates against Chris by casting a glamour spell to disguise herself as Sarah, and rapes him. After screaming, "The only way you know how to treat women is by treating them like whores! Well, you're the whore!" she throws him out a window to his death. Horrified, Sarah performs a binding spell to prevent Nancy from doing more harm, but Nancy blocks the spell and the coven turns on her.

Sarah flees to Lirio's shop, and Lirio encourages her to invoke the Spirit herself. Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle create the illusion of an explosion overtaking the shop, and Sarah runs to her home in panic. The girls, waiting for her there, torment her with visions of rats, insects, and snakes filling the house. They try to persuade her to commit suicide, and Nancy slashes her wrists. With encouragement from the spirit of her deceased mother, Sarah eventually invokes Manon and is able to heal and defend herself. She successfully casts a binding spell on Nancy.

As the film closes, Bonnie and Rochelle turn up at Sarah’s house to ask if she wants to join her powers with theirs again. Sarah causes lightning to strike a tree, a falling branch nearly crushing the two girls. She warns, “Be careful. You don’t want to end up like Nancy.” The scene shifts to a psychiatric hospital, showing Nancy convulsing and rambling about her erstwhile powers.



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 and became a cult favorite.[2] According to, 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.


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


  1. ^ a b "The Craft". 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". Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  4. ^ "The Craft – Sequel". Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  5. ^ "BD Horror News – 'The Craft' Sequel Officially Dead in the Water". Retrieved 2010-09-24. 

External links[edit]