When you’re young, moving, changing schools, and making new friends can be tough, especially for quiet girls like Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney). When Sarah and her family move from San Francisco to Los Angeles, she immediately stands out at her new Catholic school, and catches the attention of Bonnie (Neve Campbell), a shy girl who thinks that Sarah is the missing ingredient that she and her coven of teen witches have been missing.
Bonnie, Rochelle (Rachel True), and Nancy (Fairuza Balk) are social outcasts due to bodily disfigurement, race, and socioeconomic class, respectively, and besides this, also have a huge interest in all this Wicca. The group of friends worship Mannon, an all-encompassing deity, and study witchcraft religiously, but are in need of a fourth witch to round out their circle and attain true power. When Bonnie gets proof that Sarah is their fourth corner, she brings her into their circle and for the first time in her life, Sarah has real friends.
But as the group comes together, and their powers grow, so do the worst aspects of Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle’s personalities. They become power-hungry and petty, self-centered and narcissistic, and callous and vindictive, respectively, which prompts timid Sarah to re-evaluate her new friendships, and how far she’s willing to go to do the right thing and restore balance.
Though centered around witchcraft, The Craft expertly displays the affects of classism and racism in an otherwise rich and White environment, how deep-seated slut-shaming and misogyny run in high schools and they irrevocable ways they destroy the reputations and safety of young women, and of course, the hypocrisy and cruelty of many religious institutions. Highly entertaining, littered with humour, and just scary enough to keep you on edge, The Craft features amazing cast performances, most notably from Fairuza Balk, whose portrayal of Nancy made her one of the most beloved antagonists of all time in this cult classic.
The Craft is the quintessential teen horror movie, a must-have for nostalgia-inducing slumber parties everywhere, and a cinematic gem for the ages.
I give this one 4.25 stars.