For a lot of people my age–Millennials that are very close to the Generation X divide–the 90’s are a nostalgic time. Things were better back then, right? Or at least we didn’t have the maturity and capacity to understand how things were not good, haven’t been good for a long time, and that a lot of our current problems have roots back then. But, uh… at least the movies back then were good? Some of the movies. Okay, so this and a couple other movies that nostalgia goggles convince us were good. This intro is getting away from me… SO YEAH ANYWAY, HOW ABOUT THE CRAFT?
The movie begins when Sarah (Ms. Robin Tunney who was also in… um… End of Days, I guess) moves to LA with her dad and step-mom. At school she meets local witches Nancy (Fairuza Balk at peak goth), Rochelle (Rachel True), and Bonnie (Neve Campbell right before Scream). She also meets Chris (Skeet Ulrich right before, uh, Scream, again) and goes on a relatively chaste date with him. But that doesn’t stop him from telling the school they fucked and she was awful! No socially ostracized, she spends more time with the witches and becomes their fourth for rituals. As a result the girls experience a boost in magical power, thanks mostly to Sarah being a natural witch. Making their will manifest, Sarah gets Chris to fall hopelessly in love with her, Bonnie fixes the burn scars all over her body, Rochelle makes racist Marcia Brady’s hair fall out, and Nancy’s abusive step-father dies, leaving her and her mom a boatload of cash. But things take a turn when Nancy draws all the power of the god Manon into herself. She starts going crazy while Rochelle and Bonnie become bitches. Oh, and Chris tries to rape Sarah but after some magical and sexual shenanigans, Nancy kills him. Sarah tries binding Nancy’s powers, but the trio work against her and almost succeed in killing her. But Sarah draws on Manon’s power for non-selfish reasons (or at least not as blatantly selfish) and successfully fights back. In the end Nancy is institutionalized, Rochelle and Bonnie are left powerless, and Sarah remains a powerful witch you do not want to fuck with.
This movie is a treasured memory for me. It inspired a generation to go to their local book store and pick up a Llewellyn book on magic from the tiny “metaphysical” section; their logo is a crescent moon, and I’m betting at least one reader is now going, “Oh yeah! I might still have one of those books!” I’ll admit that with help from movies like this I went through a minor occult/Wicca phase when I was younger, growing out of it when I realized I have no magical talent. Such is life, I guess, although rewatching this does make me want to dig out my tarot deck and start memorizing cards again. Tis the season, right?
And oh, hey, wasn’t there talk of a sequel and/or reboot to this movie coming out this year? What’s that? The Craft: Legacy actually released today? Well then, I better watch it so I can have a post ready for tomorrow!
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