The Craft (film)

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The Craft
four young student girls walking in the rain towards the viewer with the film's title ,credits and release date below them.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Andrew Fleming
Produced by Douglas Wick
Written by Andrew Fleming
Peter Filardi
Starring
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Alexander Gruszynski
Edited by Jeff Freeman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 3, 1996 (1996-05-03)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[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, 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 and it was a box office success at the time with earning $55 million against budget of $15 million.

Plot[edit]

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney), a troubled teenager, has just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother. At her new 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 and the girls believe that together they willed it to happen.

After a date with Chris, Sarah is upset to learn that he has spread a false rumor that they had sex. When Sarah confronts him, he treats her disrespectfully in front of his friends. Sarah casts a love spell upon him; Rochelle casts a revenge spell on a hateful racist bully, Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor); Bonnie casts a spell for beauty; and Nancy for power. It becomes clear that the spells have been successful: Chris becomes infatuated with Sarah, scars that Bonnie has on her back are completely healed by an experimental gene therapy, Laura loses her hair, and Nancy's abusive stepfather has a heart attack and dies, leaving a large insurance policy which makes her mother rich.

Nancy becomes greedy for power and encourages the others to join her in a rite called "Invocation of the Spirit". On completion of the spell, she is struck by lightning. Afterward she lacks empathy and begins taking risks with her life and those of others.

The girls' spells soon bring negative consequences: Bonnie becomes aggressively narcissistic; Laura Lizzie is traumatized by her baldness and becomes hysterical; and Chris attempts to rape Sarah when she rejects his continual advances. Nancy uses a glamour spell to make herself look like Sarah, and then seduces Chris. They are interrupted by the real Sarah, who insists that Nancy leave with her. Chris is upset about being fooled, and taunts Nancy that she is jealous. Nancy uses her power to kill him.

Sarah performs a binding spell to prevent Nancy from doing more harm. It does not work, and the coven turns on Sarah. They invade her dreams, threaten her, and use their powers of illusion to make Sarah believe that her father has been killed in an accident. They try to persuade her to commit suicide, before Nancy cuts Sarah's wrists herself. Sarah successfully invokes the spirit of Manon and is able to heal herself and fight back. Sarah scares off Bonnie and Rochelle and defeats Nancy, binding her power to prevent her from doing harm. Nancy is committed to a psychiatric hospital and Sarah is the only coven member who does not lose her powers.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Production for the film commenced on May 1, 1995 in Los Angeles at Verdugo Hills High School which was the setting for the fictional Catholic school, St. Benedict's Academy with the help of production designer Marek Dobrowolski, adding various religious statues throughout the building and the grounds. Sarah's home in the film was an actual two-story Spanish mansion built in the 1930s, with the interiors being built on a sound stage at Culver City Studios. Another location used within the film was the El Adobe Marketplace in Hollywood Boulevard, which was originally a Spanish-style built in the 1920s. Dobrowolski transformed the market's former flower store in an occult candle shop, with the room being repainted and enhanced, while occult icons such as candles, stigmas, religious statues, masks and tribal dolls being added for effect. The final location for the film was at the Leo Carrillo State Beach.

The makeup effects were designed and created by Tony Gardner and his special effects company Alterian, Inc., which also created the beached sharks for the film.

Release[edit]

Reception[edit]

The Craft received mixed reviews from critics; it currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 32 reviews.

Fairuza Balk and Robin Tunney won the Best Fight award at 1997 MTV Movie Awards; Balk also gave props to fellow nominee Jackie Chan in her acceptance speech.

Box office[edit]

The film opened at number 1 at the North American box office, making US$6,710,995. The movie was a sleeper hit and became a cult favorite.[2] According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, The Craft is the 10th 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.

Sequel[edit]

Sony Pictures has announced that a sequel of The Craft is currently in development and will be written and directed by Leigh Janiak. The announcement of the sequel has spawned negative reactions from fans of the original and from Fairuza Balk, who thinks that sequels "in general" are a bad idea.[6][7][8]

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]

External links[edit]