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The Craft is a 1996 teen horror film about four high-school outcasts who practice witchcraft, and how the use of their powers affects their friendships and relationships.
Sarah Bailey, a troubled teenager from San Francisco, moves to Los Angeles with her father and stepmother. Enrolling in a local Catholic school, she inadvertently attracts the attention of three of the school's outcasts: Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, who also happen to be witches.
Each of the three suffers from a personal problem of some kind: Nancy lives in a trailer with her mother and abusive stepfather, Rochelle suffers racist harassment by the school's Alpha Bitch, and Bonnie has severe burn scars all over her body.
The four decide to use their powers for personal gain, casting vengeful spells against those that wronged them.
The film is notable for hiring an actual Wiccan as a script consultant and another one to play Nancy. But since Wicca is just a mundane religion, most of their suggestions were ignored in the name of Artistic License.
This film contains examples of:
- Above Good and Evil: The god Mannon is is described as such. The girls try to do the same with their magic. It doesn't work.
- Alpha Bitch: Laura.
- Artistic License: Unlike most films of this ilk, they actually did the research on Wicca before making the film. Since an accurate portrayal of Wicca wouldn't make for a very good horror movie, most of it (apart from some flavoring) got thrown out in favor of a Charmed or Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style approach.
- Asshole Victim: Chris, Laura, Nancy's stepfather.
- Ax Crazy: Nancy, after she gets her powers.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: It's no coincidence that Bonnie's burn scars stop just below her face.
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Break the Cutie: An example where the cutie breaks you in the end.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Par for the course
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: And sometimes outside of class.
- Dark Magical Girl: Nancy by the end.
- Darkened Building Fight
- Dawson Casting
- Disproportionate Retribution: The deaths of Chris and Nancy's redneck stepfather.
- Driven to Suicide: Sarah attempted suicide in the past. Bonnie's comments on Sarah's scarred wrists "you even did it the right way" indicate she may have at least considered it. Combined with the events of the film, this makes Nancy's plan to kill Sarah and make it look like suicide pretty plausible.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: All of the girls (except Rochelle obviously), but Nancy the most.
- Flat Character: Bonnie and Rochelle have no characterization outside of their "freak" status.
- Four-Girl Ensemble: Sarah is The Ingenue.
- Glamour: Using magic to change your appearance is just so much simpler than going to a salon.
- Goth: Nancy. The lone psycho variety.
- Hot Witch: All four of the girls have their moments.
- Jerk Jock: Chris.
- Looks Like Cesare: Nancy, towards the end of the movie.
- Naive Newcomer: Sarah, both to the school and to magic.
- Mind Rape: What Nancy tries to do to Sarah.
- Missing Mom: Sarah's mother (who was also a witch) died when she was a baby, which leads her to try to find out more about her.
- Parental Substitute: Sarah receives advice from the owner of the magic shop.
- Primal Fear: The house full of snakes.
- Rape as Drama: Almost happens to Sarah.
- Reality Subtext: Fairuza Balk, the actress who plays Nancy, is a Wiccan in real life, and used to own an occult shop.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Specifically, snakes.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: The girls are Mistaken for Gay.
- Shout-Out: Chris refers to Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle as "the bitches of Eastwick."
- Shower Scene: The girls showering after swimming class, which leads to...
- Shower of Angst: Laura begins to cry when she realizes her hair is falling out in the shower.
- Stalker with a Crush: Chris when Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Token Minority: Rochelle.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: You don't want to end up like Nancy.
- Yandere: Chris becomes one after Sarah puts a spell on him.