Before Harry Potter-mania, witchcraft in high school was considered an extracurricular activity reserved for the girls. It was geeky enough for boys to show up with polyhedral dice in homeroom. Calling themselves a witch and waving a wand would have endangered their lives in the jock dominated society. Witchcraft was a girl’s game like field hockey, home economics and the spirit squad. The Craft tapped into the dark arts as a bonding mechanism for the non-popular girls.
Robin Tunney (The Mentalist) plays the new girl at an elite private high school. She’s still glum from the death of her mother. This sadness doesn’t make her appeal to the popular girls led by Christine Taylor (Marcia in The Brady Bunch Movie – and Ben Stiller’s wifey). This does make Robin look like a prime friend for a trio out outcast girls. Fairuza Balk (The Waterboy), Rachel True (Half & Half) and Neve Campbell (Wild Things) think of themselves as a coven. They’re working on spells, but they just lack that umph to tap into the supernatural. They need a fourth. Robin turns out to be their girl. She already has a few powers. She suspends a pencil during French class. This makes her a natural to join the ghoulish clique.
The quartet are able to use their spell power to first fix themselves. Neve’s body is healed so she can show off her flesh in the kinky private school girl outfit. Fairuza gets rid of her mom’s problematic boyfriend. The sleazy guy is played by John Kapelos. He was the understanding janitor in The Breakfast Club. Weird to think what he could have done to Molly Ringwald if he’d had done this character. The girls aren’t satisfied with getting their lives right. They have to torture others. Christine Taylor gets her lovely hair messed up. Star football player Skeet Ulrich (Scream) doesn’t know which girl is trying to hump him at the party. When Robin tries to restrain Fairuza’s power trip, a battle ensues. There’s lots of snakes and flying in this witch war.
Even after 13 years, The Craft still packs a wallop. This movie might be too much for the Twilight crowd that want a passive female character. These four young women don’t mind dropping hexes to get the upperhand. Fairuza is magical in the film. She has the ability to go from cold blooded killer to sweet little girl in a short gesture. The Craft keeps up the homeroom witchcraft for the ladies.
The video is 1.85:1. The high definition transfer averages around 43Mbps on the screen. Even in the 1080p, the effects hold up without giving away too much of the movie magic. You’ll notice a few zits on the high schoolers. Audio is English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. It’s a clean mix that gives a lot of rumble when the spells get wicked. There’s also dubs in French and Portuguese. The subtitle are in English, French Spanish. Portuguese, Korean, and Thai.
Director’s Commentary features Andrew Fleming. He gives plenty of stories from making the film. He exposes his moment of nepotism. It’s subtitled in Spanish and Portuguese.
Conjuring The Craft (24:35) has a bunch of middle aged guys talking about making a high school girl film. Robin Tunney talks about how she had really short hair when she auditioned. Rachel True mentions she never encountered anyone else auditioning for her part. They remember the rise of Skeet. Neve and Fairuza’s interview footage is from the original press for the show. It’s pointed out that as the girls get more powerful, their skirts get shorter.
The Original Behind the Scenes of The Craft (5:59) has narration from the goofy promotion voice guy. Contains quick interviews with the stars and director on the locations.
Deleted Scenes (6:37) includes three cut moments: Healing Bonnie, Confrontation and Nancy Performs Magic. There’s an optional commentary track so the director can tell you why they didn’t make the release print. Last scene features a stabbing.
The Craft looks sharp in the Blu-ray format. Fairuza Balk dominates the film with her little witch that wants to control the world dreams. She became a star with her on screen antics of getting revenge on classmates with various spells. The bonus features illustrate that the filmmakers wanted to present the witches as real students of the occult. This remains a defining film about supernatural desires in high school.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents The Craft. Directed by: Andrew Fleming. Starring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True and Neve Campbell. Written by: Peter Filardi. Running time: 101 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: October 13, 2009. Available at Amazon.com
Tags: Harry Potter, Neve Campbell, Reviews, Twilight