For the past few decades, clique films have proved to be massive hits, especially ones with high school girls as the main attraction. From Heathers to Mean Girls, their clever jokes and edgy storylines have forever cemented them as iconic movies. However, there is a lesser known clique film that has a dark side. 1996’s The Craft successfully blends witchcraft and high school gossip.
The film starts off with Sarah becoming the new girl at a catholic high school. While she starts off quiet and witty, she soon notices a group of three girls in goth-style clothing. Unlike the Heathers and Plastics however, these girls are feared and considered outcasts rather than popular and admired. They’re even rumored to be witches. They soon notice Sarah as well as Sarah actually has supernatural powers. Though reluctant at first, Sarah begins hanging out with the group. Eventually, she finds herself fascinated by the girls as they help her understand her powers through witchcraft. It turns out that the three girls are in fact witches and also hold powers like Sarah. With Sarah on board, the coven is officially complete.
However, Sarah has also the attraction of Chris, a popular boy at school. After going on a date with him, he spreads rumors that they had sex. When she confronts Chris, he treats her disrespectfully in front of her friends and dumps her. It’s soon shown that all of the girls have problems with people in their lives whether at school or at home. Hurt, the girls come together to use their powers for revenge. Initially, they each get what they want from their powers. Unfortunately, their plan begins to backfire when one of them wants to undo a spell. Other consequences from each of their spells are soon shown as well but it’s too late to do anything to fix them. Also, the friendship between the girls begins to strain alongside their witchcraft getting out of control. For one of the girls, Nancy, it even ends up affecting her psychological self.
The Craft is a twisted teen flick. It’s in a similar style of other 90s horror films such as Scream and Interview with the Vampire. If the opening ritual is not enough, tarot cards and visions of nature will explode at you throughout the film. However, a few parts of the film are a bit underdeveloped. While the backstories of each of the girls are intriguing, the film seems to only scratch the surface of them. There’s also a few unanswered questions throughout the film and characters that either eventually fade or don’t truly emerge until the end. Additionally, the ending can easily leave you cringing. Nevertheless, if you’d be interested in giving a different kind of teen and/or clique flick a go, then this is the movie to watch.