The Craft (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Craft (1996)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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After killing her mother in childbirth, growing up in San Francisco with her father and stepmother, attempting suicide, and moving to Los Angeles, Sarah (Robin Tunney) makes a brief stab at popularity at her new Catholic high school. Ostracized due to the untrue kiss-and-tell tales of football player Chris (Skeet Ulrich), Sarah reluctantly befriends a trio of self-styled outsiders: the horribly scarred Bonnie (Neve Campbell), the trailer-trash Nancy (Fairuza Balk), and Rochelle (Rachel True), a frequent victim of anti-black prejudice at the hands of Laura Lizzie (former Marcia Brady and future Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor). After exhibiting latent telekenitic powers in front of Bonnie, Sarah learns that her three new friends have chosen her as their "fourth corner," the final member of their supernatural coven. Using tools stolen from a local incense-and-candle-filled boutique for practitioners of magic, the quartet summons the power of Manon, a primitive deity, to exact revenge on their tormentors and transform their lives. Drunk with power, they watch their spells get out of control, and the new coven soon realizes that with magic, "whatever you give comes back three-fold." This mid-'90s horror flick scored first place at the box office its opening weekend despite its then-unknown cast and modest budget. TV star Neve Campbell, who didn't even receive top billing, would go on to become the '90s answer to '70s horror queen Jamie Lee Curtis in the Scream franchise.

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Cast

Rachel True
as Rochelle
Cliff De Young
as Mr. Bailey
Arthur Senzy
as Vagrant
Endre Hules
as Monsieur Thepot
Elizabeth Guber
as Laura's Friend
Jennifer Greenhut
as Laura's Friend
Mark Conlon
as Swimming Coach
William Newman
as Street Preacher
Erin Tavin
as Homeless Mother
Rod Britt
as Priest
Brogan Roche
as Insurance Man
Rebecca McLaughlin
as Biology Teacher
Tony Genaro
as Bus Driver
Janet Rotblatt
as Homeroom Teacher
Jason Filardi
as Paramedic
Karyn J. Dean
as Whispering Girl
Danielle Koenig
as Whispering Girl
Janet Eilber
as Sarah's Mother
John Kapelos
as Nancy's Father
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News & Interviews for The Craft

Critic Reviews for The Craft

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (7)

Fleming's film begins promisingly as a black comedy a la Heathers, but then quickly succumbs to its machinery of special effects; this is yet another bad picture in a long list of Hollywood flops about witchcraft.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

If only The Craft were as fresh as its enchanting lead quartet.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Will appeal to fantasy and horror buffs alike.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
Cinema Crazed

Campy teen witch thriller more violent than fun.

Full Review… | December 18, 2010
Common Sense Media

The 1970s-style special effects do little to distract us from an uneven script, direction and performances. Yet there's enough here for us to hope it'll come together.

September 30, 2009
Apollo Guide

Supernatural fun with attitude.

April 24, 2003
MovieCrypt.com

Audience Reviews for The Craft

My original rating of 5 stars holds, but this review relates to a rewatch in 2014. The Craft is a movie I loved when it came out in the mid 90's. I owned this on VHS and then dvd, and chances are high I will eventually upgrade to blu ray if I see it going cheap enough. Is the movie perfect? No. It's actually quite weak, especially watching it now. But somehow I think it still stands up and isn't overly dated. Essentially it's a girl power gone wrong movie. Fairuza, for me, has always been the standout. Though again, on a rewatch, a lot of her lines are quite cheesy. It doesn't really matter, she's compelling and creepy. I have always liked her, right from Gas, food, lodging. It's a pity her career did not seem to go far. Sarah Tunney is a close second as the new girl who is drawn into the group of witches. Just that little bit more mature than the other girls, but still initially gets drawn into abusing her power. It's also fun to see Christine Taylor as a bitchy blonde - another promising actress whose career seems to have stalled. There's probably no point describing the plot as most will have seen this by now. Highly enjoyable, though over the top and cheesy.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

Supernatural teen thriller? hmmm I think we've had enough of that concept. But wait! this was back in 96 before the 'Twilight' films, plus three of the teen girls in this film are kinda slutty and dress in skimpy school uniforms!. Ahh well that's OK then, game on. Yep back in the ancient past of 1996 this film came out of nowhere and was a huge sleeper hit, in other words no one thought it would do anything but it did. Massively popular with teen girls, a film aimed for them entirely and they lapped it up. I was in college back in those days and I recall the girls in my class loving it, kinda got you worried in case the film gave them any unsavory ideas hehe. New girl in town feels slightly uncomfortable in her new surroundings and new school. Three other girls are the school outcasts and verbally bullied or made fun of by both the boys and girls. All the girls meet up and slowly become friends, all four have an interest in witchcraft or spellcraft, so they learn more, become witches and get revenge on all the kids that bullied them. The only thing is one of the girls goes too far and one has natural supernatural abilities unbeknownst to the others. Pretty straight forward but highly effective. The good thing about this film was it wasn't a nice sweet lovey dovey romance flick like...well you know. It was actually quite dark and twisted with plenty of brooding devilish imagery all to do with classic witch folklore and actual spiritual lore. The whole idea is pushed way beyond the realms of reality naturally but there is slight truth and real meaning behind certain aspects of the Pagan/witch /Wicca folklore practices the girls get up to. All four of these girls had some serious raw sexual energy also, these characters weren't your blonde princesses, they were devious and naughty. Even Tunney as the good natured girl was no let down, the film appealed to the boys just as much as the girls. The best of all being the wonderful Balk who starts off as trailer trash but evolves into a full blown gothic bitch complete with dog collars, black fingernails, black lipstick and at one point some nice tight shiny PVC pants! oh so good!. Balk also gives a brilliant performance as the unhinged 'Nancy', she is really quite unnerving towards the end with her big toothy 'Joker-like' grin. Yes you could say this is just another 'Scream' type thriller with a nice pretty young cast, it also stars Skeet Ulrich who is no stranger to teens flicks. But it really isn't, its so much more than that, the basis is the same, its kinda predictable and is full of teen angst but in general its a much better teen thriller than most. Some of the CGI looks bad now of course but there are more real time tricks which is nice to see, lots of creepy crawlies involved. You only have to look at the films poster, 'Bewitched' this is not! 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' think again, and I repeat...there is no 'Twilight' crapola either. This is a dark, somewhat gritty, spirit invoking thriller that is a surprisingly good ride.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Andrew Fleming's The Craft brings the sexy to witchcraft.

The film's dark fantasy concept keeps it afloat, which sort of makes up for the lack of depth in the plot. While also showcasing some amusing segments throughout, for nearly 100 minutes of screen time the story does drag at certain places. There are a few details left in the dark that leaves some minor plot holes, but all in all this picture is far from mind-boggling or boring.

The use of witchcraft isn't intense and brutal as it may sound. In other words, the violence, bloodshed, and all other creepy material affiliated to spell-casting and invoking spirits is barely enough to push this film to a restricted rating.

The four leading ladies put on fine performances and the variety in their characters help out the story. Fairuza Balk shines when she is full of energy. Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True also make delicious witches.

The Craft does lack in certain places; however, it ultimately lives up to expectations.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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