If Buffy the Vampire Slayer represents the lighter side of high school as a macabre experience, here's a movie that asks the burning question, "What happens when angst-ridden teenagers develop supernatural powers?" More to... more » the point, how do four outcast teenaged witches handle their ability to cast wicked spells on the taunting classmates who've nicknamed them "The Bitches of Eastwick"? The answer, of course, is "don't get mad, get even." That's about all there is to this terminally silly movie, which makes up for its ludicrous plot by letting its young female cast have a field day as they indulge their dark fantasies. Fairuza Balk is enjoyable as the most wicked of the witches, and is therefore the focus of the film's most dazzling special effects. But it's Neve Campbell from television's Party of Five who made this film a modest box-office hit, just before she became her generation's fright-movie favorite in Scream and its popular sequel. --Jeff Shannon« less
Definitely not something I expected it to be. The characters were well cast, each one with a quirky personality that leaves you wondering whether or not you should be on their side. The movie goes at a good pace, not leaving any holes in the plot, with a decent twist at the end that is just shy of being a nail biter. It's a good movie to watch, decently spooky but not scary. A fun movie is probably a better description for it. Probably won't be on many people's top movies list, but something that is easy to watch, easy to follow, and does a decent job on special effects. I recommend watching this, possibly on Netflix, but don't buy it before you decide you like it.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
These Girls Know Their Rites!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 07/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) is the new kid in town, but even under the best of circumstances she has never been accepted by the popular crowd. At her new school, she falls in with a trio of other female misfits (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True) who, it so happens, are trying to learn witchcraft and form their own little coven. When Sarah joins them to make it a quartet, they slowly develop multifold preternatural powers and learn how to focus and use them. With such abilities literally at their fingertips, it's not too long until the little coven, initially formed for self-protection and companionship, becomes an instrument for personal gain and revenge. Sarah soon realizes that one of her friends is evil to the core, and fearful of what THAT one may do with the group's newfound powers, she decides it's best to resign from the coven and thereby weaken the magic abilities of the others. But the coven has different plans, particularly regarding Sarah....The sleeper hit THE CRAFT (1996) could've easily been played for camp, but it is instead a story of modern urban witchcraft that is both literate and emotionally powerful. The success of the film is due to Peter Filardi and Andrew Fleming's tight, well-written script, excellent direction from Fleming, and outstanding acting from principals Tunney, Balk, Campbell, and True. The supernatural elements of the story are handled carefully and earnestly, and witchcraft or the belief in it is never ridiculed or treated derisively. This keeps the tone of the film somewhat dark and edgy, which in turn creates an uneasy, spooky atmosphere that cues the audience to the fact that this is a serious horror film. Fleming wisely keeps the special FX to a minimum until the story's climax on the final reel, and he instead emphasizes the relationships in this group of dysfunctional, angst-ridden girls, well knowing that the primary target audience--to wit, teenagers--will easily relate to these characters and their normal desires and fears.The Special Edition DVD from Columbia/Tri-Star offers THE CRAFT in anamorphic widescreen at its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The digital transfer is very good, with minimal filmic or digital artifacts. The disc also features an informative commentary with director Andrew Fleming, 2 featurettes, deleted scenes, and more. THE CRAFT is a cool horror film that most fans of the genre will enjoy, and the very reasonable price makes it easy for fans to add this DVD to their collections."
Take it for what it is...
D. Knouse | 11/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this movie! It's charming, fun, and actually has a decent message behind all the special effects.In response to people who were less than complimentary:
1. I am not the normal demographic for the film (my own high school days being far behind me).
2. Don't confuse Wicca and Witchcraft.
3. This is a Hollywood movie and a horror/comedy to boot. Are we holding it to higher standards than, say, "Big Trouble In Little China"?
4. If you don't think witchcraft is real, see number three.5. If you think your religion was smeared or degraded, see number three.
6. If this isn't what "real" witches do, see number three."
In the beginning...
D. Knouse | vancouver, washington United States | 11/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the incredible success of the television smash hit "Charmed" it seems only fair to remind people of that show's absolute beginning. It was a 1996 film entitled "The Craft" starring Neve Campbell(of "Scream" fame), Rachel True, an utterly gorgeous Robin Tunney in the lead role, and a fantastic casting choice of Fairuza Balk as a witch who eventually embraces the darkside of her art. This film was a pleasant surprise with some good acting, a plausible yet magical storyline which focuses almost entirely on the lives of four outsiders who find each other through "The Craft" of illusion and glamour. This isn't a scary film at all, unless you dislike snakes, bugs, worms, rats, etc. For that matter, a story like this, in retrospect, is an excellent idea for a television program. It works better in such a medium, but for the most part, it works here as well. This film is an essential pick-up for fans of the show "Charmed" and for anyone who celebrates "Girl Power." (pun intended) This is an enjoyable yarn that is, thanks to "Charmed," destined for Cult film status."
Blu-ray: Sony gives "The Craft" the DTS-HD MA treatment and
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 10/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1996, with a plethora of teen horror movies coming out to theaters, one supernatural film that stood out was "The Craft".
The film was directed by Andrew Fleming ("Grosse Pointe", "Paranormal Girl", "Dick") and featured a story written by Peter Filardi ("Flatliners", "Salem's Lot"). Joining the two are composer Grame Revell ("Pineapple Express", "The Ruins", "The Condemned", "Eleventh Hour") and cinematographer Alexander Gruszynski ("The In-Laws", "Nancy Drew" and "Madea Goes to Jail").
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"The Craft" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). For a film that was released in 1996, "The Craft" actually looks good for being nearly 13-years-old. The film is not exactly vibrant nor do you see tons of detail but the film does manage to retain the film's grain and blacks are nice and deep. If anything, outdoor scenes manages to look nice, colorful and bright but for the most part, it's a good transfer but nothing that would be scene as reference or spectacular.
As for audio, this is where things get interesting. "The Craft" is one of the few Blu-ray releases in 2009 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to utilize an a 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track instead of DolbyTrue HD. The film gives a choice of English, French and Portuguese lossless tracks but what I was truly impressed by is how immersive the soundtrack for this film was.
So far, Sony has done a good job of bringing out the audio track for 90's films this year such as "Air Force One" and now, the same can be said with "The Craft". From lighting, to rain, ambient noises, conversations in the background and crickets, you hear it utilized quite nicely through the surround channels.
The sound effects really are utilized through the surround channels. So, the film goes beyond the front and center channel speakers for dialogue and music. Also, you'll notice some scenes utilizing LFE quite a bit, so overall, fans of the film will truly enjoy the lossless soundtrack of "The Craft".
Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Koeran and Thai.
"The Craft" comes with the following special features (all presented in standard definition and in English stereo/English Mono with English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Thai subtitles):
* * Director's Commentary - Director Andrew Fleming's audio commentary about "The Craft". Fleming is good at discussing certain parts of the film and how they had a technical adviser who runs a large covenant of witches, thus lending accuracy to the film. * Conjuring the Craft - (24:33) A featurette featuring the screenwriter, director and producer along with the talent talking about the film and their experiences on working about the film. Also, how the crew hired an actual witch to help in the consulting of the film. * The Original "Behind the Scenes of The Craft" - (6:00) Featuring the cast and director talking about the film and their characters. Plus clips from the film. * Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary - Deleted scenes which include: Healing Bonnie, Confrontation and Nancy performs magic. Optional commentary of why the scenes were cut by Director Andrew Fleming.
"The Craft" was a pretty solid supernatural thriller back in 1996 and even over a decade later, the film continues to be entertaining and fun. Nor does it try to approach the supernatural or witchcraft storyline in a lame manner.
For the most part, very solid performances by Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True. The film was before Neve Campbell became well-known for "Party of Five" and Fairuza Balk before "The Waterboy" but the crew did a good job in selecting Fairuza Balk (who is familiar with wicka) as the main antagonist of the film. Balk somehow has this dark look to her in the film but for the most part, she did a fantastic job portraying Nancy Downs. It was interesting to find out through the special features that Balk was familiar with witchcraft and that the director and producers felt that she embodied the role of Nancy. And of course, for the role of our main protagonist, Robin Tunney did a fantastic job playing the role of the protagonist Sarah Bailey.
"The Craft" definitely receives a solid picture and audio transfer. But as mentioned in the video & audio portion, the fact that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is testing out the DTS-HD Master Audio codec with this release is quite interesting. I am starting to prefer the DTS-HD Master Audio for lossless audio and for this film, it definitely made the film much more enjoyable as the sound effects really utilize the surround channels. In fact, one time I thought there was a cricket in my house but it was actually from the film.
Overall, "The Craft" was an enjoyable film featuring a solid screenplay, good choice of casting and for the most part, giving an edge to this dark teenage film. Although the film is Rated-R, the film is by no means is "The Craft" a slasher film nor is their nudity. But for fans who truly enjoyed this film, "The Craft" definitely gets a solid HD release on Blu-ray. Definitely worth checking out!"
A fun flick
Tara | 09/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been Wiccan for several years now, and I have to agree that The Craft is not a very accurate example of the Pagan religion. However, it did not offend me in the least. It's a fun movie, no matter the accuracy of it, and the underlying story deals mostly with everyday teenage life, and what we have to go through. There is also an important moral included in the story, about not letting power and greed destroy you. Fairuza Balk, who plays Nancy, was and is a practicing Wiccan. While she, too agreed that the movie was not completely accurate, she had a fun time making it, and I see no reason why others shouldn't have a fun time watching it. This movie remains one of my favorites, and I never get tired of watching it."