Written by Jen Lavery

Arts

Rated or Dated: The Craft

Standard Issue writers are revisiting a film/book/TV series to see if it’s stood the test of time. With a remake of supernatural sleeper hit The Craft in the pipeline, Jen Lavery wonders if the original is really the feminist fantasy it once appeared.

craft cast shotWhat: The Craft was a cult movie in the ‘90s for girls who liked a little sage with their sugar and spice. While other teen hits such as Clueless focused on fun, fashion and frolics, The Craft, with its ‘be careful what you wish for’ theme, toiled and troubled over the darker side of growing up, with bullies, suicide, date rape, betrayal and even murder stopping by for a spell.

When natural witch Sarah (Robin Tunney) arrives in LA hoping to make a new start, she finds three new best friends in the shape of wannabe Wiccans Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True), each of whom has her own demons to escape from. Soon bullies are bald (does Ben Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor get to keep her hair in anything she appears in?), pesky pervy stepdads are swapped for piles of cash and former heartbreakers are being driven literally crazy. But as their power grows and loyalties become uncertain, it becomes clear that this town ain’t big enough for the four of them…

Why: Why indeed? Less than 20 years after the original movie Sony have announced a remake, which will no doubt come as thrilling news to the original female cast.

Rated or dated: All in all, rated. The dog eat dog world of high school is recognisable and the dialogue for the most part still stands up, even if some of the wisecracks could use a little more snap (“Yeah, you’re as light as a feather…during deep space travel!” BUUUURRNNNN). Even the fashion choices don’t look too outlandish, Neve Campbell’s appalling stripy shirt/dress monstrosity aside.

“In all honesty Sarah is a slightly bland heroine, and one who also spends a lot of time pining for a boy who has already proven himself an utter shit-weasel.”

Craft posterHowever, while the remake will have a job topping the ‘all phobias catered for’ finale, hopefully a female director at the helm will smooth over a couple of the less empowering parts of the first version.

In all honesty Sarah is a slightly bland heroine, and one who also spends a lot of time pining for a boy who has already proven himself an utter shit-weasel. While we’ve probably all been into a bad boy at some point, if you continue to be infatuated after he purposefully lies about you and humiliates you, you should probably rethink your dating strategy. And what’s with the ongoing comments about Nancy being heavy or needing a “smaller ass”? The woman looks heavy enough to be blown into the ether by the gust of a kitten’s fart. Fairuza Balk may have been typecast since, but it’s understandable when you see her here, devouring scenery like a tooth-grinding speed freak at a scenery-devouring competition.

Also, the all-powerful being, Manon, is male? Witch, please.

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Written by Jen Lavery

Journalist. PR. Presenter. Film and TV Geek. Feminist. Roller derby enthusiast. Scot.