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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These Girls Know Their Rites!
Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) is the new kid in town, but even under the best of circumstances she has never been accepted by the popular crowd. At her new school, she falls in with a trio of other female misfits (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True) who, it so happens, are trying to learn witchcraft and form their own little coven. When Sarah joins them to make...
Published on July 15, 2004 by Michael R Gates

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been much better
Craft is basically a pseudo horror picture released almost 8 years ago. It has aged pretty well, considering the era it came out in. While it is very easy to dismiss this film as just another teen rebellion/girl power flict very popular at the time, doing so would be a misservice to the movie.

For what it is worth, Craft doesn't have a strong plot, as a...
Published on November 3, 2004 by Brandon


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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These Girls Know Their Rites!, July 15, 2004
By 
Michael R Gates (Nampa, ID United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) is the new kid in town, but even under the best of circumstances she has never been accepted by the popular crowd. At her new school, she falls in with a trio of other female misfits (Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True) who, it so happens, are trying to learn witchcraft and form their own little coven. When Sarah joins them to make it a quartet, they slowly develop multifold preternatural powers and learn how to focus and use them. With such abilities literally at their fingertips, it's not too long until the little coven, initially formed for self-protection and companionship, becomes an instrument for personal gain and revenge. Sarah soon realizes that one of her friends is evil to the core, and fearful of what THAT one may do with the group's newfound powers, she decides it's best to resign from the coven and thereby weaken the magic abilities of the others. But the coven has different plans, particularly regarding Sarah....
The sleeper hit THE CRAFT (1996) could've easily been played for camp, but it is instead a story of modern urban witchcraft that is both literate and emotionally powerful. The success of the film is due to Peter Filardi and Andrew Fleming's tight, well-written script, excellent direction from Fleming, and outstanding acting from principals Tunney, Balk, Campbell, and True. The supernatural elements of the story are handled carefully and earnestly, and witchcraft or the belief in it is never ridiculed or treated derisively. This keeps the tone of the film somewhat dark and edgy, which in turn creates an uneasy, spooky atmosphere that cues the audience to the fact that this is a serious horror film. Fleming wisely keeps the special FX to a minimum until the story's climax on the final reel, and he instead emphasizes the relationships in this group of dysfunctional, angst-ridden girls, well knowing that the primary target audience--to wit, teenagers--will easily relate to these characters and their normal desires and fears.
The Special Edition DVD from Columbia/Tri-Star offers THE CRAFT in anamorphic widescreen at its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The digital transfer is very good, with minimal filmic or digital artifacts. The disc also features an informative commentary with director Andrew Fleming, 2 featurettes, deleted scenes, and more. THE CRAFT is a cool horror film that most fans of the genre will enjoy, and the very reasonable price makes it easy for fans to add this DVD to their collections.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the beginning..., November 11, 2004
By 
D. Knouse (vancouver, washington United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
With the incredible success of the television smash hit "Charmed" it seems only fair to remind people of that show's absolute beginning. It was a 1996 film entitled "The Craft" starring Neve Campbell(of "Scream" fame), Rachel True, an utterly gorgeous Robin Tunney in the lead role, and a fantastic casting choice of Fairuza Balk as a witch who eventually embraces the darkside of her art. This film was a pleasant surprise with some good acting, a plausible yet magical storyline which focuses almost entirely on the lives of four outsiders who find each other through "The Craft" of illusion and glamour. This isn't a scary film at all, unless you dislike snakes, bugs, worms, rats, etc. For that matter, a story like this, in retrospect, is an excellent idea for a television program. It works better in such a medium, but for the most part, it works here as well. This film is an essential pick-up for fans of the show "Charmed" and for anyone who celebrates "Girl Power." (pun intended) This is an enjoyable yarn that is, thanks to "Charmed," destined for Cult film status.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray: Sony gives "The Craft" the DTS-HD MA treatment and if you enjoyed the film, you will dig the lossless soundtrack!, October 13, 2009
This review is from: The Craft [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
In 1996, with a plethora of teen horror movies coming out to theaters, one supernatural film that stood out was "The Craft".

The film was directed by Andrew Fleming ("Grosse Pointe", "Paranormal Girl", "Dick") and featured a story written by Peter Filardi ("Flatliners", "Salem's Lot"). Joining the two are composer Grame Revell ("Pineapple Express", "The Ruins", "The Condemned", "Eleventh Hour") and cinematographer Alexander Gruszynski ("The In-Laws", "Nancy Drew" and "Madea Goes to Jail").

VIDEO & AUDIO:

"The Craft" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1). For a film that was released in 1996, "The Craft" actually looks good for being nearly 13-years-old. The film is not exactly vibrant nor do you see tons of detail but the film does manage to retain the film's grain and blacks are nice and deep. If anything, outdoor scenes manages to look nice, colorful and bright but for the most part, it's a good transfer but nothing that would be scene as reference or spectacular.

As for audio, this is where things get interesting. "The Craft" is one of the few Blu-ray releases in 2009 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to utilize an a 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track instead of DolbyTrue HD. The film gives a choice of English, French and Portuguese lossless tracks but what I was truly impressed by is how immersive the soundtrack for this film was.

So far, Sony has done a good job of bringing out the audio track for 90's films this year such as "Air Force One" and now, the same can be said with "The Craft". From lighting, to rain, ambient noises, conversations in the background and crickets, you hear it utilized quite nicely through the surround channels.

The sound effects really are utilized through the surround channels. So, the film goes beyond the front and center channel speakers for dialogue and music. Also, you'll notice some scenes utilizing LFE quite a bit, so overall, fans of the film will truly enjoy the lossless soundtrack of "The Craft".

Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Koeran and Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES

"The Craft" comes with the following special features (all presented in standard definition and in English stereo/English Mono with English, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese and Thai subtitles):

*
* Director's Commentary - Director Andrew Fleming's audio commentary about "The Craft". Fleming is good at discussing certain parts of the film and how they had a technical adviser who runs a large covenant of witches, thus lending accuracy to the film.
* Conjuring the Craft - (24:33) A featurette featuring the screenwriter, director and producer along with the talent talking about the film and their experiences on working about the film. Also, how the crew hired an actual witch to help in the consulting of the film.
* The Original "Behind the Scenes of The Craft" - (6:00) Featuring the cast and director talking about the film and their characters. Plus clips from the film.
* Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary - Deleted scenes which include: Healing Bonnie, Confrontation and Nancy performs magic. Optional commentary of why the scenes were cut by Director Andrew Fleming.

JUDGMENT CALL:

"The Craft" was a pretty solid supernatural thriller back in 1996 and even over a decade later, the film continues to be entertaining and fun. Nor does it try to approach the supernatural or witchcraft storyline in a lame manner.

For the most part, very solid performances by Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell and Rachel True. The film was before Neve Campbell became well-known for "Party of Five" and Fairuza Balk before "The Waterboy" but the crew did a good job in selecting Fairuza Balk (who is familiar with wicka) as the main antagonist of the film. Balk somehow has this dark look to her in the film but for the most part, she did a fantastic job portraying Nancy Downs. It was interesting to find out through the special features that Balk was familiar with witchcraft and that the director and producers felt that she embodied the role of Nancy. And of course, for the role of our main protagonist, Robin Tunney did a fantastic job playing the role of the protagonist Sarah Bailey.

"The Craft" definitely receives a solid picture and audio transfer. But as mentioned in the video & audio portion, the fact that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is testing out the DTS-HD Master Audio codec with this release is quite interesting. I am starting to prefer the DTS-HD Master Audio for lossless audio and for this film, it definitely made the film much more enjoyable as the sound effects really utilize the surround channels. In fact, one time I thought there was a cricket in my house but it was actually from the film.

Overall, "The Craft" was an enjoyable film featuring a solid screenplay, good choice of casting and for the most part, giving an edge to this dark teenage film. Although the film is Rated-R, the film is by no means is "The Craft" a slasher film nor is their nudity. But for fans who truly enjoyed this film, "The Craft" definitely gets a solid HD release on Blu-ray. Definitely worth checking out!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take it for what it is..., November 4, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
I love this movie! It's charming, fun, and actually has a decent message behind all the special effects.
In response to people who were less than complimentary:
1. I am not the normal demographic for the film (my own high school days being far behind me).
2. Don't confuse Wicca and Witchcraft.
3. This is a Hollywood movie and a horror/comedy to boot. Are we holding it to higher standards than, say, "Big Trouble In Little China"?
4. If you don't think witchcraft is real, see number three.
5. If you think your religion was smeared or degraded, see number three.
6. If this isn't what "real" witches do, see number three.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun flick, September 12, 2005
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
I have been Wiccan for several years now, and I have to agree that The Craft is not a very accurate example of the Pagan religion. However, it did not offend me in the least. It's a fun movie, no matter the accuracy of it, and the underlying story deals mostly with everyday teenage life, and what we have to go through. There is also an important moral included in the story, about not letting power and greed destroy you.

Fairuza Balk, who plays Nancy, was and is a practicing Wiccan. While she, too agreed that the movie was not completely accurate, she had a fun time making it, and I see no reason why others shouldn't have a fun time watching it. This movie remains one of my favorites, and I never get tired of watching it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies of all time, February 8, 2005
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
I picked up this movie in HMV one day. I was attracted to it mainly because it had Neve Campbell in it and I wanted to see one of her movies. But the main reason was the witchcraft. I love reading anything to do with the subject, and am very into anything mystical or spiritual.

'The Craft' is the tale of a 17-year-old San Francisco girl called Sarah Bailey (played by Robin Tunney). She moves to Los Angeles with her father and his girlfriend and starts school in St. Benedict's, a very christian-orientated school. Sarah has always been able to 'make things happen', and is soon brought to the attention of the three 'bad-girls' of the school - Nancy Downs (BRILLIANTLY played by Fairuza Balk) and her two friends Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True). Nancy is emotionally unhinged in a way, a goth girl with not the greatest home situation. Bonnie's upper body is covered in horrific burns that she hides from the others at school, though in reality is extremely pretty. Rochelle is the only coloured girl in an entirely white school, and is the subject of harsh bullying from the popular, blonde and blue-eyed Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor).

Sarah soon becomes part of the group, and together they are able to accomplish things they never could before - Sarah casts a spell to get the boy she likes Chris Hooker to fall in love with her, Bonnie asks for her scars to heal, Rochelle wants pay-back on Laura, and Nancy wants the higher power, the power of Menon. But soon things start moving too fast for Sarah's liking, and that's when things start going wrong. (BE WARNED, if you have a phobia of creepy-crawlies, like spiders and maggots, and also snakes and scorpions and rats, then be on your guard)

The most outstanding performance in this movie is that of Fairuza Balk, who's outing as the crazy, and slightly evil Nancy is one of the most powerful performances by a young actress I have ever seen. The end scene is one of the most compelling and disturbing scenes she does in the entire movie, and she is not only extremely convincing, but likeable at the same time.

Robin Tunney is good as the troubled, occasionally suicidal Sarah. Neve Campbell and Rachel True also provide pleasing performances, but are outshined by Balk.

This film I would classify as not a full on horror. On the first viewing, there will be a few bits that you jump at, but only on the first viewing, and there are some horror elements in there, but it isn't scary enough to be a proper horror movie. This is more of a late-night movie that a bunch of friends watch at a sleepover. (you CAN'T say that you haven't tried the whole 'light as a feather, stiff as a board' thing! If you haven't, watch the film and then try it)

The movie is really enjoyable and makes the idea of witchcraft seem really exciting and appealing. I suggest it for everyone out there, even if this isn't your normal choice of movie. Just watch it and you'll be pleasantly surprised. And for more atmosphere, watch it with all the lights off and candles everywhere, it's great!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You don't exist you are nothing", August 1, 2005
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
The craft is simply fun to watch but the real story here is the crap teens go through in high school and what we would love to do if we got caught in those problems and these girls do exactly what they want to do due to the fact that their witches and all. The movies starts out with each girls problem and then they use their power to change it at the end one of them gets out of control with power and only one can stop her.The movie is great to me and the amount of stuff that is on the dvd is pretty cool and so is the dvd menu.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been much better, November 3, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Craft (DVD)
Craft is basically a pseudo horror picture released almost 8 years ago. It has aged pretty well, considering the era it came out in. While it is very easy to dismiss this film as just another teen rebellion/girl power flict very popular at the time, doing so would be a misservice to the movie.

For what it is worth, Craft doesn't have a strong plot, as a matter of fact it is very predictable. i can honestly say, that at least 20 minutes into the film, you can tell how this whole thing is going to play out. The plot is weak, but the main drawing to the film is the character developement.

Basically the formula is simple, Craft is about the main character Sarah, a fairly streotypical brunette, who is both quiet and shy and somewhat introverted. Sarah is a natural witch, although she doesn't seem to be able to control her powers. When she arrives at her new school in L.A. (by way of San Fran), she runs into many jerks, mainly a goofy football player (Skeet Ulrich). This makes her fall into a group of girls as socially incompetent as she is.

The four girls consist of :Rachel (Racheal True), she is apparently a black girl in an all white school, who is sometimes harassed by a girl name Laura, who lookes EXACTLY like Marsha Brady. Then there is Bonnie ( Neve Cambell), who has grotesque burn scars all over her body, she is basically shy and soft spoken. And the there is Nancy ( Fairuza Balk), who is your token goth, and all around mad lady with tons of baggage and problems.

To say the least, the interaction between Sarah and the 3 other girls is pretty good. The best scenes are when they are friends and where they all just laugh and make jokes. These scene are almost the opposite of most of the themes you see in modern teen flicks. Plus none of these girls act very modern (with Nancy being the exception). Sarah acts someone mysterious and series, but when she is around the football player, she acts like a giddy school girl who would fit right in on Happy Days or Patty Duke. The same goes for Bonnie and Rachel. But the point is, you start to actually like the chracters, because they are so adorable. Despite the fact they are using witchcraft for selfish reasns, the reasons are all juvenille and stem from vanity and simple high school rivalries. Nancy is really the only character with real problems.

The film goes astray as all of the characters fall out, and the plot starts to feel rushed. The whole Nancy and Co. vs Sarah things is explain, but it is very contrived. one minute they are having slumber parties, and the next they are trying to kill Sarah. It really don't make much sense. But what holds the movie together is...

Fairuza Balk and her Nancy character. She certainly looked like a Goth, but no goth I have ever met in real life or seen on film is as cool as her. Where most goths seem to have a "dead" personality, and seem pessimistic, Nancy is the opposite of that. She makes all sorts of goofy expressions, make silly gestures, and doesn't mind screaming to the top of her lungs every now and then. And she plays an awesome villian. The scene where she walks on water is cliche, but Fairuza made the whole things seem cool.

One last note, i am not a religious person, and I definitely don't practice paganism, but i must commend the screenwriter for his treament of the magic used in this film. Nothing her seemed sensationalized. As a matter of fact, the craft the girls are using is presented as some indifferent force, and they way they are using it is the main evil here.

All in all, this movie is great. It steers clear of gen-X streotypes, and surprisingly from Goth streotypes as well. The only problem here is a plot and the so- so character development (which could have been much better). I would probably enjoy this story better if it were a novel, instead of some rushed holywood film. Too much here seems rushed, which makes this review a 3.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is it about this movie?, December 4, 2005
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
There's just something about this film that makes us watch it over and over again -- discussing, analyzing endlessly. Put it away for a while, but there you are again making new friends watch it so you can hear their comments as well. This is a film that definitely deserves a place in your collection. But, beware... You may also find yourself wondering: What IS IT about this movie?
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teen angst leads to magical mayhem, July 29, 2003
This review is from: The Craft (Special Edition) (DVD)
It is only natural for teenagers to fantasize about all the things they would do if they only had the power, so this exploration of magical manifestations, centering on a group of social outcasts, and the consequences thereof should appeal to some degree to most people. Young people do some nasty things to one another, and the powerful urge to retaliate for such acts can be hard to resist, yet the consequences of such acts of return unkindness can bear a cost even higher than the suffering that preceded them - The Craft demonstrates this principle in rather exaggerated terms. I'm not saying there is really a moral teaching imbedded in the core of the film, though; the movie does not strike me as being anything more than just good entertainment. The plot seems to have a few potholes in the road, the acting varies in quality from time to time, and what the special effects lack in realism they make up for in sheer volume, but The Craft has a mysterious dark charm about it that makes it a worthwhile movie experience.
The action revolves around a modern-day coven of young witches. Three high school outcasts practice witchcraft but struggle to attain the types of results they seek; they need a fourth member of the coven. That role is fulfilled by the new girl in town, Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney). Sarah seems to be a fairly normal high school student, yet we soon learn that she has a history of making things happen around her when she is upset and that this problem has led to one suicide attempt in the past. The three resident weird girls at school soon recognize Sarah's inherent magical abilities and bring her into their circle. The leader of the group is Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), a tough, rather unstable girl who exudes attitude from every pore in her body. She has a much deeper interest in the uses of magic than her "sisters" Rochelle (Rachel True) and Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and the fact that Sarah seems to have more in the way of magical potential than she does gnaws away at her over time.
After first succeeding at a few parlor-trick types of magic, the girls put their powers to more serious use. Bonnie asks for the scars she was born with to be removed, Rochelle wants payback against a cruel, racist girl at school, and Sarah wants the creep of a guy she likes to fall in love with her. Nancy has larger ambitions, invoking the spirit of Manol and all his powers. Their spells begin to work, and then they keep on working a little too well, leading to some pretty significant internal troubles for the coven. I should note here that those of you who really, really hate critters might want to stay away from this movie, for huge numbers of snakes, rats, scorpions, maggots, and other equally disgusting creatures make an appearance here.
I originally wanted to see this movie because Neve Campbell was in it, but her character and performance seem to lack something here. Only two characters really, really matter in The Craft: Nancy and Sarah. I love Fairuza Balk, and I can think of no young actress more suited to play the role of the slightly evil, megalomaniacal Nancy. She has no trouble whatsoever looking the part of a dangerous witch. I like Robin Tunney as well, but it just seems like she forgets how to act every so often. Somebody also seemed to forget to add a page here and there to the script because there are a couple of things mentioned that I knew nothing about, the actions of Bonnie and Rochelle in the final stages makes little sense to me in the context of what came before, and a few incidents and characters seem to have some importance attached to them yet come and go without any further mention.
The Craft barely sticks its toes in the waters of horror a time or two without ever jumping in and immersing itself in the darkness, so I would not consider it a horror movie at all. Aside from all the creepy crawlers that show up, there's really nothing else along those lines to be found here. In a way, I think of this entertaining film as a very, very quirky after-school special type of motion picture.
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The Craft (Special Edition)
The Craft (Special Edition) by Andrew Fleming (DVD - 2000)
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