Blu-ray Review: The Craft (Collector’s Edition)

Before Mean Girls roamed the halls, between the class bells there were teen witches roaming the hall. Indeed 1996 was the season of the Teen Witch. Sabrina the Teenage Witch popped up on ABC’s T.G.I.F.’s line up bring the Archie character to a new generation with family friendly fun and a talking cat thanks to Nick Bakay (Night After Night with Allan Havey). She was not alone in casting spells as The Craft arrived in theaters and had magical summer box office returns. The film has grown in stature with its little coven increasing in power. The tale of three witches in search of a fourth set of hands returns with The Craft: Collector’s Edition.

At an elite religious prep school in Los Angeles are three girls considered outcasts by the popular students. Bonnie Harper (Scream‘s Neve Campbell) should be a cool kid, but she’s covered to hide the scares from a car wreck. Rochelle Zimmerman (Half Baked‘s Rachel True) gets the cold shoulder since she’s black at the white rich girl world. Nancy Downs (Gas Food and Lodging‘s Fairuza Balk) is the poor kid with a horrible father. The classmates mock them, but quietly these girls are plotting their revenge using witchcraft as their tool. But things aren’t going right since they need another to complete the four corners of their coven. As if conjured up, Sarah Bailey (Empire Records‘ Robin Tunney) arrives in the school. At first she seems to fit in with the popular kids, but Bonnie notices that Sarah has a little supernatural ability. Recruiting her is hard since she wants to date the football star (Riverdale‘s Skeet Ulrich). But when the jock busts her balloon, she’s ready to see what the outcasts can offer her. Can they really elevate their witch game and become the powerful spellcasters that they dream about in homeroom?

The Craft still casts a spell after all these years and doesn’t just vanish into the abyss of teen flicks cranked out in the ’90s. The big draw is the cast especially Fairuza Balk. Sure she plays a glum student who gets drunk on power when the witchcraft goes into overdrive. But her overpowering charm keeps her character from turning into a complete monster. She’s wicked, but it’s hard to feel her as being evil. Tunney is able to hold things together as the girl unsure if this is how her powers should be used. She’s the last hope for her coven to not turn destroy everything at the high school. The Craft: Collector’s Edition is the ultimate teenage spell drama.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the spooky corners of Los Angeles. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 along with the original theatrical 2.0 DTS MA Stereo mix. The music really shines on the new mix. The movie is subtitled.

Directing The Craft (15:12) is an interview with co-writer and director Andrew Fleming. He was originally was hired to rewrite the script, but ended up directing. He speaks of the research he did so that he wasn’t just ripping off Hollywood witch cliches. He points out the film got an R-Rated because the MPAA thought it showed teenagers worshiping Satan.

Producing The Craft (13:28) interviews Producer Douglas Wick. He talks of making movies that he wants to see. His first film was Working Girl. He talks of dealing with the fringe women. He was inspired to making the movie from his love of Bewitched.

Writing The Craft (10:44) talks with co-writer Peter Filardi. He had just done Flatliners and was working on a script about teen Satanists. He worked on the original idea with Douglas Wick.

Effecting The Craft (11:02) breaks down the visuals with Makeup Effects Supervisor Tony Gardner. He liked how it had them doing small effects and giant sharks.

Audio Commentary with Director Andrew Fleming gets deep into the production and the magic elements on screen.

Conjuring The Craft (24:35) has cast and crew discuss the nature of the Wiccan Arts in the film. You get to see a younger Peter Filardi. This was shot during the production. Fairuza is in makeup.

The Making Of The Craft (5:59) is the vintage EPK with shots behind the scenes.

Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary (6:36) includes a scene where Sarah amps up the magic of the coven, Nancy losing her temper and a stabbing.

Theatrical Trailer (1:50) lets us know this high school drama has more than wedgies.

Scream Factory presents The Craft: Collector’s Edition. Directed by Andrew Fleming. Screenplay by: Andrew Fleming & Peter Filardi. Starring: Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell & Rachel True. Rated: R. Running Time: 100 minutes. Released: March 12, 2019.

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