The Craft

1996

The Craft

Critics Consensus

The Craft's campy magic often overrides the feminist message at its story's core, but its appealing cast and postmodern perspective still cast a sporadic spell.

55%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 259,807
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The Craft Photos

Movie Info

Sarah has always been different. So as the new girl at St. Benedict's Academy, she immediately falls in with the high school outsiders. But these girls won't settle for being powerless misfits. They have discovered "THE CRAFT," and they are going to use it.

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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 (56) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (25)

  • ... deliciously dangerous excursions into adolescent self-discovery.

    Dec 5, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • What can you say about a movie that seems to have been conceived like a trailer and written in exclamation points and gets stolen by the cinematographer?

    Dec 5, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The Craft, at least for its first half, plays as a satirical teen-clique horror movie -- Carrie meets early John Hughes.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 15, 2007 | Full Review…

    Emanuel Levy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It places heavy demands on its four lead actresses, who come through in impressive fashion. Director and co-writer Andrew Fleming makes sure he and his stars deliver the goods.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Full Review…
  • [The Craft] s a surprisingly skittish fable of adolescent powerlessness, grandiosity and the nursing of psychic wounds.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Craft

  • Apr 26, 2015
    The gloss of Beverley Hills: 90210 is blended with the goofy special effects and tone of The Crow and the strong female performances of Charmed are all blended together to create The Craft - a film about a post-pubescent coven of misfit teens dabbling in the occult. It's The Lost Boys with slightly more estrogen and its really quite cool. The performances of the four girls are underrated especially regarding the more-interesting-than-the-protagonist antagonist played by the zany Fairuza Balk. The exploration into Wiccan arts is extremely misguided but is still probably the best attempts by a Hollywood film to shine a light on a very devoted community, of which interest and a following is rife amongst young women. The Craft also explores issues such as self-harm, self-image and rape, as well as themes of alienation and revenge. I do actually believe that the film is mildly feminist but unaware of its own sub-text. Very enjoyable nonetheless and wildly 90's-esque.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2014
    An exciting, stylistic teen horror film, The Craft is a cult hit that helped to revitalize the horror genre in the late '90s. After moving to a new town and enrolling in a private school, Sarah Bailey is befriended by a group of aspiring witches and is persuaded to join them; which completes their circle of four and allows them to tap into supernatural powers. Starring Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, and Skeet Ulrich, the film has a fresh young cast that has a lot of charisma. However, the writing is a little weak, particularly when it comes to the witchcraft, which is ill-defined and changes to fit the needs of the plot. And the story is heavily reliant on tropes and cliches; i.e. love spells, revenge against bullies, power corrupting, white vs. black magic, etc. Yet despite its lack of originality, The Craft is an entertaining and suspenseful thriller.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2013
    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 H Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2012
    Andrew Fleming's <i>The Craft</i> brings the sexy to witchcraft.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p><i>The Craft</i> does lack in certain places; however, it ultimately lives up to expectations.</p>
    JY S Super Reviewer

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