The Craft is a 1996 supernatural horror film directed by Andrew Fleming (Bad Dreams, Threesome, Hamlet 2, and Dick) It was written by Peter Filardi (Flatliners, Salem’s Lot, and Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King). It was produced by Douglas Wick (Wolf, Hush, Hollow Man 1/2, Gladiator, Spay Game, Lawless, & The Craft: Legacy). The budget was $15 million and it grossed $55.6 million worldwide at the box office. They did a sequel to it in 2020 called The Craft Legacy.
Sarah Bailey (played by: Robin Tunney from Encino Man, Empire Records, End of Days, and Vertical Limit), a troubled teenager with unusual abilities has just moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles with her parents. At her new school, she forms a friendship with a group of girls considered outcasts for one reason or another. They are rumored to be witches: Bonnie Harper (played by: Neve Campbell from the Scream franchise, Wild Things, 54, and Skyscraper), Nancy Downs (played by: Fairuza Balk from The Waterboy, American History X, Almost Famous, and Return to Oz), & Rochelle Zimmerman (played by: Rachel True from Half Baked, Embrace of the Vampire, CB4, and Groove) are all harassed by a group of popular girls lead by Laura (played by: Christine Taylor from the Brady Bunch franchise, The Wedding Singer, Night of the Demons 2, and Zoolander 1/2).
The coven all worships a powerful deity they call “Manon”. Sarah becomes attracted to the popular Chris Hooker (played by: Skeet Ulrich from Scream, As Good as it Gets, Armored, and Riverdale). The coven recruits Sarah to be “the fourth” which completes their powerful circle. Chris spreads false rumors about Sarah after their date to friends Mitt (played by: Breckin Meyer from Clueless, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Garfield 1/2. and Rat Race) and Trey (played by: Nathaniel Marston from One Life to Live) plus the rest of the school. They all test out their magic in various ways including a love one, a beauty one, a power one, and a revenge one. After being successful, the coven gets greedy and goes too far with their newfound supernatural powers. Sarah and Nancy end up in a feud over it, the others decide to go with Nancy which leads to the girls trying to torment their former friend. Sarah proves that she is the most gifted one out of the group and she defends herself turning their fears into reality with her revenge. Can she keep out powering all three? or Will her luck run out soon????
The Craft was something different and unique when it came to the horror genre especially in the 90’s. The witch sub-genre was barely explored, you would only see films on the subject every once in awhile. They weren’t really making that many female based horror features either but this one had both. That’s why The Craft was a hit during it’s theatrical run and the reason it has such a huge cult following today. The story, concept, & script were all at a high level so I am not surprise that it grabbed the attention of so many young talented actors at the time. They had amazing chemistry as the coven learning their new powers and finally becoming popular with their class. The leads which included Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True were all at their top of their game in this. Especially Fairuza Balk, she was an excellent villain when the shit hit the fan here. I loved the finale here between the two man witches from the coven. It had a solid supporting cast that included Christine Taylor, Skeet Ulrich, and Breckin Meyer. The special and visual fx were top notch at time, most of it still holds up. The soundtrack kinda serves as a time capsule for the 90’s and they are like their own characters in this. When you hear any of that music now, you are reminded of this feature. Everything about this production is at a high quality and it still has fantastic replay value. This was one of the better horror movies of the 90’s, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Scream Factory! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is still a huge upgrade compared to the older DVD and VHS home video releases but it’s the same exact one as the previous blu ray from Sony. It has two different audio options here which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 on this collector’s edition release. This is an improvement over the original DVD and VHS home video releases. It has an additional English 2.0 track that wasn’t on the Sony disc but it does drop the foreign language tracks that were on it but that shouldn’t be a big deal to anyone in the states. The dialogue is very clean, all the witchcraft is elevated and the music has a killer boost on here. The original DVD had an Isolated Score track but neither blu ray release added it back for some reason. It has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Scream Factory! “Audio Commentary” with co-writer and director Andrew Fleming. He points out some re-shoots from the beginning. He goes into great detail about most of the scenes. He chats about the music, the cast, and script. He mentions the costumes and production design. He says Robin Tunney wore the same outfit for most of the shoot. She was so sick of it when she finished the film so she burned after they were done. He says since it was Rated R, they made sure to cuss more. He tells a story about when they were using CGI butterflies for a scene but a real one somehow got in it and it weirded everyone out. Lots of information and very detailed about everything here, you learn so much about the production from the director here. “Directing ‘The Craft'” is a brand new interview with co-writer and director Andrew Fleming. He originally didn’t want to do the film. He chats about working on the screenplay and adding his own experiences to it. He talks about being respectful to Wiccan ceremonies and culture. He brings up that Angelina Jolie almost played Nancy in this. He goes over the locations. He chats about the special and visual fx when CGI was in it’s early stages when it came to movies. He chats about working with the studio on this project and their hesitations on it. He talks about how popular The Craft is and the success it had after it’s release. “Producing The Craft” is a little over 13 minutes. It’s a brand new interview with producer Douglas Wick. He chats about his start with the 1988 film Working Girl. He talks about how the concept and story got turned into a finished script. He brings up hiring Andrew Fleming for The Craft who had his own ideas for the feature. He chats about Robin Tunney was originally going to play the Bonnie role before she got the lead.
He talks about the cast plus his own daughters having a cameo in this. He brings up how The Craft still holds up today, it’s loved all over, & it has a great following after all these years. “Writing ‘The Craft'” is an almost 11 minute brand new interview with screenwriter Peter Filardi. He goes over his inspirations for the concept and story for The Craft after having success with projects like Flatliners. He chats about his interest in the witchcraft world and culture. He talks about getting notes from the studio after his original draft. He says he was fine with Andrew Fleming working on the screenplay and adding his experiences to it. “Effecting The Craft” is a little over 11 minute brand new interview with makeup effects supervisor Tony Gardner. He chats about some of his work from the production that didn’t make the final cut. He talks about some of his other gigs from the shoot including Manon, Bonnie’s burns, dealing with Robin’s shaved head from Empire Records. He mentions working with CGI in it’s early development for this. He brings up when getting jobs later, younger people would always bring this up and show their appreciation for it. “Conjuring ‘The Craft” is a little over 24 minutes. It’s an archive making of for The Craft. It has various interviews with the cast and crew. They chat about the concept, script, the cast, their experience, fx, and witchcraft. They talk about making sure they did everything right here out of respect for the Wiccan community. They did lots of research and had an advisor on set. They go over the performances and how the main actors got their role for this when it was being developed. They go into great detail about the story and the characters for The Craft. “The Making of ‘The Craft” is almost 6 minutes. It’s an archive promo piece for The Craft. It has interviews with the cast and the crew on the set. It has some clips. They chat about the concept, story, and the characters from it. Lots of similar subjects are covered here but it’s still nice to see the cast talk about it on here. It has almost 7 minutes of “Deleted Scenes” with optional commentary from director Andrew Fleming. It has a “Theatrical Trailer” for the film. It has a slipcover and reversible artwork. This collector’s edition is loaded and it’s worth the upgrade if you are a fan of the film. It’s available everywhere right now. CHECK IT OUT!!!!