This week, the 1996 cult, teen hit The Craft turned 21! It’s hard to believe it’s been 21 years since the film was released. I still have strikingly strong memories of seeing the TV spot as a kid and immediately thinking, “Woah- I HAVE to see this movie!”
It’d be an understatement to say I quickly became a fan. Before Scream (which was released later that year), the movie introduced me to teen films, unstoppable girl power, and sparked a lifelong love of horror and the metaphysical. It opened a flood gate that couldn’t be undone and has yet to run its course.
I checked out the VHS every time I went to the video store (except for the time I went with my grandparents, and they said it wasn’t age appropriate). I bought the soundtrack cassette and played it on repeat until the tape withered. I remember posting up on the living room couch with full-blown chicken pox and watching it over and over like a comforting remedy. I even tried to create my own The Craft-themed art by drawing the cast photo from the VHS cover.
As you can tell, I was (still am) obsessed. I eventually shifted my admiration to another Neve Campbell film, Scream, but you never forget your first. As highfalutin as it may sound, The Craft shaped me. It set a precedent that forever influenced my taste in movies and personal style. It helped construct my views on feminism, being a social outcast, good versus evil, and the ability to control your own circumstances.
I revisit the film every year, and surprisingly, it still holds up and never fails to leave me… spellbound. The film is currently available to stream in the U.S. on Netflix, and its 21st anniversary is the perfect opportunity to rewatch and reflect on all the good that exists within The Craft. So- Andrew Fleming (Director), Peter Filardi (Writer), Fairuza Balk, Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor, Breckin Meyer, Assumpta Serna, and all the brilliant minds behind the film- thank you. This one’s for you:
Dear The Craft,
It’s been an enchanting 21 years together, and I just wanted to thank you for helping to bring me where I am today.
Before we met, I couldn’t help but feel like a social outcast. I wasn’t like the popular kids and felt like so many circumstances in my life were beyond my control. Being different was weird, and being weird was not good.
Then you came along and showed me that being “cool” wasn’t about fitting in or changing yourself to conform to an outsider’s expectations. Being unique could be an extraordinary gift. You saved me from a lot of mental neuroses on topics like popularity and acceptance in high school. As you say, “we are the weirdos…”.
On one level, you showed me I could be a badass. I could take control of my mind, if nothing else, and refuse to tolerate things in my life that I considered unacceptable. The power was mine. Bitchy girl at school like Rochelle? Haters ain’t got nothing on me. Skin problems like Bonnie? I’m still beautiful. Livin’ in a trailer park with a gropey stepdad like Nancy? I got this. You taught me that if I changed my thoughts and focused my intention, I could change my life. That power came from within.
On another, deeper level you taught me about letting go of the things beyond my control, respecting the rhythms of nature, and surrendering to a higher force beyond my understanding with far greater power than mine.
“You can defeat those who challenge you, but you must surrender to the higher power.”
You helped me wrap my young, impressionable mind around some pretty deep shit: the cosmic balance, the juxtaposition of good versus evil, the universal principle to not be a dick, and to treat others as I’d like to be treated.
” …it’s part of a basic spiritual truth. Said in many ways in many faiths: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Thank you for showing me another perspective and introducing me to a subculture that accepted the weirdos.
Happy Anniversary! The next 21 years are sure to be just as magical!
And to those of you who don’t love The Craft (a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes?), “Are we actually having a theological conversation here. I mean it’s fun, it’s scary. I mean, who gives a shit?”… “Relax, it’s only magic.”
What do you guys think?
Share your thoughts on The Craft below.
For a trip down memory lane, check out “The Craft: Music From the Motion Picture”.
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