The Craft (1996) Poster

(1996)

User Reviews

Add a Review
203 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
6/10
Interesting and Entertaining Film
RobertF878 January 2005
This is a very entertaining blend of supernatural thriller and teen movie. Sarah (played by Robin Tunney) is the new girl at a Catholic shool in Los Angeles where she meets a group of girls (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True) who dabble in witchcraft. When Sarah joins the group they discover that they have genuine power and start using it to sort out their personal problems, until the group's leader Nacy (Balk) starts taking it too far.

The film is well-made and several shades darker than the average teen movie. The cast are all very good, especially Fairuza Balk who easily steals the film with her part.

The film's portrayal of witchcraft is a bit more interesting than the standard Hollywood portrayal, and it certainly doesn't represent it as essentially "evil", which makes a nice change. However, as always, this is Hollywood so many liberties will have been taken with genuine wiccan practices.

The film is worth a look, however. The only thing that lets it down is the overblown climax.
52 out of 63 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A lot darker than your usual teen flick
Brandy-at-the-foxhole11 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

I thought this was a pretty decent teen flick - if you remember that it is, at the end of the day, a teen flick. No one should be expecting massive doses of striking directorial depth or stunning method-acting here. When taken for what it is - ie. a teen jaunt about peer pressure, teen cruelty and the hidden power-trip behind most teens' quest for emancipation, this is a pretty decent film.

What surprised me was the fact that, given the opportunity to go ditzy, the script went dark - and that's always good when you're bucking convention. This ain't no "Clueless".

I think Fairuza is one scary, scary chick and seeing her all tied up in a mental asylum didn't quite put the fear out. Why doesn't she do more horror movies? I think she'd be one helluva a scream queen!

6.5 out of 10!

PS check out the somewhat toneless rendition of Peter Gabriel's "I have the Touch" in the movie. The original is way better!
14 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
If you want a good cat fight, watch it
Kristine15 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
It's not a scary movie, it's like a weird version of "Clueless". It brings me back to when I was in grade school and wanted to be apart of high school. And I always wondered if this was like what my future would hold meeting new people. Witches?

The plot is kinda basic "Evil Dawson's Creek". :D Sarah is the new girl in town who is trying to fit in with very rude and snobby people at her new school. You can tell from the beginning that there is something very special about her. There are three girls, Nancy, who is the white trash scary goth girl, Bonnie who has severe burn marks all over her back, and Rachelle who is constantly picked on by a racist school girl, they notice Saraa and they happen to be witches who need a forth in their group, guess who that is? Sarah! She is also noticed by the high school jock jerk who uses girls and treats them like whores. She is first frightened by the girls, mostly Nancy, and leaves. She goes to see Chris, but when she refuses a private invite to his house, he spreads a nasty rumor around school about her night with him. She goes back to the girls and they discover how much more powerful they are with Sarah. They perform simple spells at first: flying, love spells, changing appearances. But things get more intense and serious: Bonnie's scars "magically" disappear and becomes gorgeous, but snobby. Rachelle's racist bully looses her hair, which seems cool, but is eventually very cruel and immature. Nancy has her step father "killed" in some way of a stroke, and inherits $175,000. She also goes as deep as to invoke the spirit of their beliefs of Manoe and becomes crazy. Sarah's love spell on Chris was to only get him to like her and apologize, but it turns on her very badly when he becomes too obsessed with her. Sarah knows that things are bad and decides not to participate her magics with the group and they turn on her, badly. To the point of threatening her life.

It's a strange movie, it's entertaining to watch and the acting is pretty decent. You really get into the movie. I'm not sure if you could call it scary. But like the critics said "It's Carrie meets Clueless". It's a fun teen movie. So if you liked those movies, you might like this.

8/10
22 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Not bad!
NoName198916 August 2006
This movie was better than I expected. It's about a girl who moves and meets three girls at her new school, who seem to be practicing witchcraft... The movie certainly appealed to me, the acting was not bad, certainly Robin Tunney (who plays Veronica in "Prison Break") did a good job, but also Neve Campbell and Rachel True are acting alright. The only person of who I didn't like the acting, was Fairuza Balk. Her voice is (in this movie) not exactly the nicest voice to listen to. But she dóés have some good moments in this movie. Director Andrew Fleming, who's budget for The Craft wasn't so big, did a good job. The movie is -at least in the first half- a good combination between a thriller and a comedy, in the end, all the comedy disappears, the atmosphere darkens and we get a fairly exciting thriller. Some of the special effects are very good. The music was o.k., but (except for a few scenes) nothing more. If you have the chance to watch this, try it! The movie will certainly not appeal to everyone, the movie is more for teenagers and people in their early twenties, I think. Many older people won't appreciate this film so much. But everyone should give The Craft a try!
26 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A Suspenseful and Creepy Movie
MadBadMovieman25 November 1999
Not a really new story about Witch Craft among girl friends but enough twists and surprizes and effects to rise above most. Very well done by all Especially Robin and Fairuza. Very Good effects. Good vs. Evil conflict really kept you in the movie. Great to see in a theater or on a big screen.
27 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
One of the first witch movies I watched
Jessica Carvalho6 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In 1996, when this movie was released, it was very popular and I was 10 years old. I remember that ''The Craft'' was one of the very first movies about witchcraft I watched and liked a lot, and at that time I was all excited with Wicca and stuff like that.(But I know that this happened with a big number of people,specially girls) I only discovered this year that the actress who plays Nancy, Fairuza Balk , really is a witch: Maybe that's the reason why I think her looks and role are one of the best. It's funny to see Neve Campbell when she wasn't so famous as she is now. (By the way, it's my impression or she is inactive?) Sarah, played by Robin Tunney, is THE witch, the really powerful and good one, since her late mother was a powerful white witch, and unlike the other girls, she has the inherent gift of witchcraft herself.
12 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A good fantasy movie that capitalizes on the neopaganism boom.
thefan-23 May 1999
One of the complaints brought against this movie by practicing wiccans is that it gives the false impression that wiccans engage in "bad" magic -- putting curses and spells on one's enemies. I would like to remind any peeved wiccans who might read this that the biggest lie this movie tells about them isn't that they cast spells, but that their spells actually work.

But that's the very lie we expect fantasy films to tell us. We demand it, in fact. This one, at least, does a very nice job of conveying the longing for power that motivates some to practice wicca and other forms of "magick." It's also fun and entertaining, and lovely to look at in places. The famous butterfly scene, in particular, will take your breath away. Over-all, this was a much better movie than it's been given credit for being.
45 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
I Love The Craft
Darkest_Rose18 December 2002
The Craft is one of my favorite movies of all time. I just love it so much, everytime I watch it I go into this fantasy world. It's about a girl named sarah(Robin Tunney) she moves into a new town due to some bad past experiences. In the beginning everything goes great, she becomes best friends with these three girls that are interested in the occult and practice witchcraft. They are known as outsiders in the school, and when sarah becomes friends with them, they form a circle. Sarah feels wonderful, finally she feels like she belongs. The three girls consist of nancy, the gothic wicked leader(fairuza balk), bonnie, the insecure one(neve campbell), and rochelle, the shy one(Rachel True). Suddenly Sarah realizes that their spells and wicked fun have to come to an end. She feels like everything is going out of control and that the gang, especially Nancy is going a little insane and is using her power in evil ways. When Sarah tries to leave the circle, nancy turns her back on her and tries to ruin her life in every way she can. This is seriously a great movie, and if you are looking for a wicked fun time, definately see the craft. All the actresses are great, especially Fairuza Balk, she is so hot and so damn gorgeous. I would give The Craft 10/10
45 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
think mean girls with an edge(and multiply that to the nth degree)
disdressed1220 July 2007
i liked this movie.i found it entertaining,creepy and amusing,for all the right reasons.the cast was perfect for this movie.the four main actresses seemed so natural together and really worked well off each other.it's fairly obvious this movie inspired others as well as some TV shows,one in particular.i loved the soundtrack.it just seemed so fitting not just for the movie but for the subject material.i think they the subject matter well,without making it ridiculous and campy.plus,the movie has many relevant issues for that age group (teenagers in high school) as well as society in general.it also has a great moral lesson,which i won't give away,but is probably fairly obvious.overall,the movie is a fun and thrilling 90 plus minutes."The Craft" is easily an 8/10 from me.
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Delivers expectations.
insomniac_rod3 July 2007
Very entertaining flick about three young witches and how they make a pretty, innocent girl turn into the Occultism.

Soon after they get REALLY into the Witchcraft aspect and more things related to an evil spirit, they start to lose control on their lives.

They use their powers for evil purposes and that's when hell breaks loose. The innocent girl, played by the sexy-beautiful , cute Robbin Tunney realizes that her life is in danger so she decides to leave the "clan" but that's when terrible things start to happen to her.

Pretty entertaining flick for a younger audience. Contains sensuality, use of drugs, and more aspects that PG-13 fans should enjoy.

A must see for the MTV Generation. I enjoyed it back when it premiered on theaters.
18 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I like this movie
ClarusTheDogCow20 May 2003
I like this movie. Even though I am male, I always had an interest in witchcraft and the like. I do not know too much about Wiccan culture, but I know it is based on nature, and for that reason I really like it because I'm a nature fan.

I liked how each of the girls had their own "social nitche" (ie; the goth, the recluse, the new girl, and the "minority"). It was well balanced. I think the four women did an excellent job in their own respective parts. Bravo!

I also liked now the girls got back on the racist ditz(Laura) and the jock (Chris). I liked this revenge theme going on, albeit, in the end it comes back and bites them back. What goes around comes around.

This movie is *not* for the religious fanatic as it deals with "alternative" beliefs. This is one of the main reasons why I like this movie so much, it features alternative beliefs rather than mainstream, boring spiritualities.

The soundtrack is great too!

8/10
32 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very Cool
alicekeymer10 December 2002
The great thing about The Craft is that it reminds me of those 80's horror movies I used to watch as a kid. It's got suspense and thrills, which so few horror films have had in recent years. I would recommend it to anyone. I can't find a thing wrong with this movie, rent it now, trust me you won't regret it
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
As Nancy put it, "BRAVO!" (Claps his hands)
Joel4 April 2003
This movie did have it's low points (Like in the beginning with the whole snake thing), but it is well worth watching.

It's a real intense piece of work, all four actresses did an excellent job.

Everything really came together, especially the near - end scene where Nancy and Sarah face off.

If you can, watch this movie... you'll really enjoy it.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Nancy is Burning with Fear and Pain
Bonehead-XL3 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A couple of things were popular in the late nineties. The sudden success of "Scream" made horror movies not only popular again but hip for the first time in years. Suddenly, the genre that had been masked madmen hacking up teens for a decade had to have sharp scripts and realistic, in-the-know protagonists. Around the same time, a rising awareness of new age pagan religions made "witch" a hot buzzword. Witches weren't green-skinned, cackling hags anymore. They could be normal people. These two interests intersected with "The Craft," a poppy teen and femme-oriented horror flick that attempted to bring the witch concept into the present day.

Set at a catholic school in fashionable California, the film follows Sarah, a girl with a history of mental problems, who has just moved into town. She's quickly dubbed an outcast and befriends a trio of other strange girls: The gothy Nancy, the shy Bonnie, and teased Rochelle. The three girls fancy themselves witches, in the neo-pagan sense of the word, and think Sarah might be the fourth corner of their circle. The fourth girls quickly excel at magic, using their abilities to better their high school lives. However, things quickly get out of hand, especially thanks to the unbalanced Nancy, and the girls start to turn on each other.

"The Craft" is notable for focusing on female characters, a rare feat in any genre but horror especially. The girls aren't your typical horror film victims. Instead, the script makes the effort to get inside each one's head. Nancy and the others are at the bottom of the high social ladder. Nancy's Gothic fashion seems to be in response to her home life, with a trashy mother and an abusive stepfather. Boys tell lies about her at school and her interest in witchcraft steams from a rather literal desire to take back control of her life. Bonnie's body is covered in burns, leading to her shyness. Rochelle's ethnicity makes her a target for bullying from the school's resident queen bee. When their power grows, they naturally use their abilities to improve their lives. Who can blame them? "The Craft" tries to frame itself as a story about responsibilities, how power corrupts etcetera, but the film is far more successful in its early half when the premise is played for wish-fulfillment.

That's mostly due to the mostly strong cast. The movie made Fairuza Balk, who previously had experiences with witches in "Return to Oz" and "The Worst Witch," something of a cult icon. She's the center of the film and gives a powerhouse performance. Nancy is burning with fear and pain, all of it exploding out as righteous anger. While the script isn't beyond playing her outburst as typical teenage angst, Balk deepens the role, making Nancy a real human being. Neve Campbell develops some honest anguish over her condition and, when she heals herself, has fun tramping it up. Rachel True works well as the first of the girls to notice they might have gone too far.

The three are strong enough that they completely overshadow Robin Tunney as lead character Sarah. Tunney isn't bad but she's also playing the least interesting character in the film. While Nancy is speeding a car through red lights, magically changing them to green, Sarah is chastising them, like a real fuddy-duddy. Clearly, the other girls go too far, especially once they become murderous, but you can't deny they're having more fun. Making the hero so comparatively uninteresting is "The Craft's" biggest problem.

The style of "The Craft" immediately marks it as a product of the late nineties. The soundtrack is filled out with quasi-pop punk that was quasi-popular at the time, like Sponge, Heather Nova, Letters to Cleo, and Love Spit Love, whose cover of "How Soon is Now" would later be used as the theme song for witch-centric TV show "Charmed." Andrew Fleming directs with rock-video smoothness, only occasionally overdoing it, like during Fairuza's murderous freak-out or a flying nightmare. The film's digital effects, which include morphing a girl's fingers into snakes, got a lot of press at the time. They come off as very dated today. The intensity the final witches duel produces has more to do with Fairuza's crazed acting then the melodramatic direction or cheesy effects.

"The Craft" became a sleeper hit upon release, meaning that its story and themes resonated with an audience. The film, no doubt, led to a rise in interest in witchcraft and neo-paganism. It also, probably, led to hip witch characters being a common character on supernatural soaps like "Buffy" and "Charmed." The film holds up astonishingly well, mostly thanks to its excellent cast and decently structured screenplay.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
The Daft.
Shawn Watson15 April 2012
Teen angst movies are rarely realistic, and more rarely cast actual teenagers. A gaggle of twenty-somethings working through their collective angst with witchcraft is about as far-fetched as you can get. I'd willing to accept all of this if the film were clever or atmospheric, but it achieves neither, opting for a TV-style, by-the-numbers approach. It could have been so much more.

The story features four outcast girls (the sad, pouting Robin Tunney, the 29-year-old Rachel True, the mightily-boobed Neve Campbell, and the absolutely dee-lish Fairuza Balk) who come together to invoke the spirit of Manon (as sort-of universal deity with unlimited power) in order to satisfy their petty desires. Low-wattage drama with not one shred of an epic moment follows.

I liked this film when I saw it in the cinema as a teenager, mainly because of the yummy girls. As an adult I can see that the film has lots of lame dialogue, bad editing, and poor photography. Revenge fantasies, especially for high school kids, are clichéd and old-fashioned as well as being dangerous. There's not much reason to watch this other than ogling the skin on show.

Why this got an R-rating is beyond me. Apparently the MPAA regarded the witchcraft to be dangerous and insisted on an R when the film is clearly no harder than a PG-13. I think this is absolutely moronic. With their logic Harry Potter and Charmed should be for adults only.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nature is both light and dark...
PeachHamBeach20 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I like this film because it presents a totally different religion (in a world and a SCHOOL where Catholicism and Christ are the main backbone) without shoving the alternative religion down our throats. I'm interested in different cultures and beliefs, including witchcraft. There are no good witches and there are no bad witches, because people have both goodness and badness inside of them. Nature is truthful in it's darkness as well as its light. The story is of four girls in an LA Catholic school: Bonnie (Neve Campbell), a girl who hides behind her shaggy hair and believes that burn scars on her back make her an ugly monster; Rochelle (Rachel True), a pretty black girl who is tormented by a mean spirited racist blonde (Christine Taylor); Sarah (Robin Tunney) a girl who recently moved into town from San Fran and whom the girls quickly notice has "natural" powers; and finally, Nancy (Fairuza Balk) the creepy, gleeful goth girl who seems to be the leader of the little group of misfits. With the arrival of Sarah, they are a foursome, and capable of "calling the corners". In time, they are able to make contact with their "god" Manon, who is described as "everything and everywhere", nature pretty much. They make wishes and cast spells and things begin to go their way: Sarah gets the school hunk (Skeet Ulrich) to fall for her; Bonnie's burn scars are healed and she turns from caterpillar to butterfly; Rochelle gets some revenge when mean Blondie's hair begins to fall out; and Nancy's step dad dies and leaves her family with more money than they know what to do with!!! I LOVED Balk in this movie. She has the goth chick down pat. Black lipstick, wicked personality. Hers was the most entertaining performance. The other girls are great too, more subtle, but great. The battle between darkness and light at the end is great and Tunney's performance is the best right next to Balk's. I disagree with those who call this "a scarey Clueless". It's a good, real horror movie about the world of witches. And no Harry Potter stuff here, thank God. In fact, this is scarier than THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK and that one is darn scarey!!! I wouldn't recommend this to kids under 13 at all!!! It's a good, real horror/thriller with clever comedy added in.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Best Horror Film Of All Time!
jamesthe1uk1 September 2001
As you can see from the above I really do like this movie. (I hated Scream!) The four actresses are really well cast and it is scary, probably more due to the fact that every child wants to get involved in witchcraft or black magic at one time in their life and this movie shows what happens when it gets out of hand. I particularly liked the ending and thought that the sound track was also wicked!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I LOVE THIS MOVIE....
Lilly-Rose15 August 2001
I love this movie Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney,Rachel True, and Neve Campbell are very good my favorite part is when they get together to cast spells I love the part where there in the forest and enter Sarah into their circle I'm really into movies that have to do with witches and I also like the spell Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle say at the beginning before they meet Sarah "Now is the time now is the hour of power....." I love this movie it's good.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Massively Under-rated, watch two actors at their peak...
A_Different_Drummer18 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The strangest phenomena in film today (and I have seen a couple) are films which, when you see them, you think they are merely "OK" but on second viewing they get better, third viewing even better, and so on. (FORBIDDEN KINGDOM comes to mind, seen it about 8 times, but there are dozens like this). This has something to do with human nature, I suspect, an innate desire to criticize even where criticism is not called for. I believe this film falls into this category. Every now and then I watch it again, and each time I find less to dislike, and each time I fall a little deeper under the director's spell. But that is the key to this film, aside from camera angles and lighting, the story just builds and builds, the suspense just builds and builds, and not only is the ending pitch-perfect, but even the second ending or anti-climax is fun as well. I have seen a lot of these kinds of films but very few that I can make these claims about. I saw the film again just prior to writing this review and even though I knew what was coming I disappeared into the story. Another odd factoid is that, for whatever reason, this film may have captured Neve Campbell and Robin Tunney at the peak of their craft (sorry for the pun). Tunney's charismatic sweetness works best when it plays off against something darker and Campbell has never been scarier in her career. She never gets to the point of eating the furniture -- which would be overdoing it -- yet you the viewer cannot help but believe her when, depending on the point in the film you are at, she alternatively threatens to kill you, and then asks forgiveness for that same threat. I believe time will be kinder to this film than the current IMDb rating.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Favourite film after Heathers!!!
kat48926 August 2003
I don't understand how anyone can not like this film!!! It freaked me out a bit the first time I saw it but now as I'm older instead of being scared of this film I have fallen in love with it. It is one of those films that it doesn't matter if you've watched it 100 times you still reach for it when you feel like watching a film. The actings brilliant especially from Fairuza Bulk. This was the first time I'd ever seen her in a film and she completely blew me away with her brilliant performance. This film also has some funny moments e.g "She's gonna cry, then I'm gonna cry, we're all gonna cry!" You really have to watch the film to find that amusing. Can I also say any film with Skeet Ulrich in it must be worth watching!!! Lol.

Go and watch this film, you will regret it if you don't!!!

Kat xxx
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
A fun and suspenseful witch flick
Dragoneyed36312 February 2008
When I saw this case I was not aware of any of the starring actresses in it at the time, at all, except Neve Campbell, who is undeniably one of my favorite actresses, so I was immediately interested in watching it. I am a sucker for movies that have my favorite actors and actresses in them, who isn't, and will watch the film no matter how ludicrous or dumb the plot sounds, though I didn't necessarily think the plot to this movie sounded ridiculous at all. My eyes locked on Neve Campbell, like I said, and if it had her in it, I decided it must be great and I had to give it a try. I assumed the other three were little nobodies right away, which was so unprofessional of me, because I later figured out they had been in other films that have a popular reputation and they all showed their exceedingly fine acting talents in this incredibly fun and energetic, but morose film that made me want to watch other roles they had took part in.

I ended up loving this great and mentally twisted film that sets me in a mood of delight just setting my eyes on it for all the actresses' dedication to the vivacious yet dark witch atmosphere that the creators were going for, because it is more of a teen film than an actual scare for adults. The Craft is a great and exciting movie nonetheless though, and of course after I saw it I had to get a hold of some other movies I looked up that had these actresses in it, because it was such a surprisingly wonderful film which had people who knew what they were working with and what kind of film they were making and just went with the flow.

There were scenes of really high interest because of how well we get to know the characters in the short time that we have by their defining personalities and traits. I thought everything was handled very well and as I have hinted at already the performances are what make this film truly enjoyable, regardless of whether or not they're Oscar worthy portrayals. This is certainly not an Oscar worthy film, and was not meant to be, but I can understand how someone could find it as lovable and gratifying as me. The Craft is purely excellent for what it sets out to accomplish with it's audience, and I must say that it needs higher appreciation and recognition than what it has right now because it is an awesome film that is just another great example of how when you put the right cast together for the right kind of movie you can receive an explosively fun time that you didn't think you would have.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews