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The Craft

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

*Also starring: Robin Tunney, Skeet Ulrich, Rachel True, Helen Shaver, Christine Taylor, Assumpta Sema

Review by Dragan Antulov
1½ stars out of 4

In good old days Hollywood knew how to make magic out of the most banal material. These days Hollywood can turn even the magic into something quite banal. At least this is the impression given by THE CRAFT, 1996 supernatural thriller directed by Andrew Fleming.

The plot begins when Sarah Bailey (played by Robin Tunney), teenage girl deeply traumatised by her mother's death and burdened with suicidal tendencies, arrives from San Francisco to Los Angeles. There she is enrolled into Catholic high school where she finds little in common with most of her peers. Their only friends are three girls who are outcasts, just like her - trailer trash slut Nancy Downs (played by Fairuza Balk), disfigured introvert Bonnie (played by Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True), black girl who suffers from racism. All three of them have found solace in the occult, but when Sarah proves to be natural talent, they form coven of witches and begin using their newly acquired powers to solve problems - becoming pretty, rich or simply getting even with their cruel peers. Along the way Nancy becomes intoxicated with power Sarah doesn't like it and decides to quit. Her friends don't like that which would lead to spectacular conflict.

THE CRAFT has few very talented young actresses showing their skills in superb fashion, especially Fairuza Balk, who turns into one of the most frightening villains in recent memory. Special effects in the film are also good. But those who miss THE CRAFT won't have many reasons to feel particularly bad about it. The plot is full of usual holes, characters are textbook examples of Hollywood cliches, the ending, despite all the special effects and mayhem, is predictable and boring. Even more disappointing is the way screenwriters failed to use potentials of the story about teenage witches in Catholic high school. Only a year later BUFFY would use similar concept to re- write television history and make the impression of THE CRAFT even worse.

Copyright 2003 Dragan Antulov

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