Saturday, October 25, 2008

Witches Rule in the Craft

Life is hard enough when you’re a teen. Your parents don’t understand you. Anxiety and isolation are common occurrences, while poor self-image can make you weep inside.

For Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) everything is out of balance. Her mother died during child birth. She’s new in town, must wear a school uniform and make new friends.

Enter the witches of St. Bernard’s Academy.

Bonnie (Neve Campbell) walks around constantly concealing her painful burn scars and ignoring the penetrating stares of her peers.

Rochelle (Rachel True) is one of few African-American students at this snooty Catholic school. Her diving skills suffer due to the devious outbursts of Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor), the stereotypical racist, white skank.

Nancy (Fairuza Balk) is the crazed chick of the group. Her mother’s alcoholic lifestyle and perverted, pedophilic husband push her to crave adventure, power, and revenge.

On her first day of class, Sarah is approached by the horn dog asshole Chris (Skeet Ulrich). He warns her of the witches and asks her out.

By day’s end, the witches tell Nancy that Chris is a jack off who spreads disease and lies. Not convinced of their honesty, Nancy keeps her date with Chris.

But the night ends early when Nancy goes home instead of putting out.

The next day the witches reveal the rumor of her lousy lay status and she confronts Chris. Always, the macho schmuck, Chris shows off for his friends Mitt (Breckin Meyer) and Trey by telling Nancy he won’t go out with her again.

Hurt by these turn of events, Nancy finds solace with the witches and discovers she’s a witch too.

The supernatural quartet assembles a coven and begin dispatching revenge where it’s needed.

Sarah creates a love spell that makes Chris do her bidding.

Bonnie sheds her scars.

Rochelle makes the lovely blond locks of Laura fall to the floor.

Nancy has trouble making her spell work, until she invokes the spirit of Mano. Once she is filled with the power, her step father drops dead, leaving her and her mother $150,000 in insurance money.

All of the ladies believe their lives have improved until events grow nastier.

Sarah is nearly raped by Chris because of the spell.

Bonnie becomes pompous.

Rochelle feels badly for seeing Laura become bald and frightened.

The drama escalates as Nancy goes to a party to hunt down Chris for his attempted attack on Sarah.

She is rejected by him and changes her face to look like Sarah. The other ladies come to the party. Sarah is shocked to see herself straddling Chris.

Drunk and freaked out, Chris backs away from Nancy and falls to his death.

The coven is torn apart.

Friends become enemies.

Yet, power lies at the heart of film.

Having too much power changes people; although, we have free will.

With our free will, we can decide how to respond to a situation.

The witches of St. Bernard make decisions that have a lasting effect on their lives.

Through their decisions, power is used, lives are lost, and redemption is sought.

Strong performances and a perfect marriage of an actress and role, make the Craft worth watching. Fairuza Balk has grown from the worst witch to a psychotic one. Robin Tunney, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True are convincing as misunderstand teens in search of acceptance and happiness. Skeet Ulrich and Breckin Meyer are the perfect arrogant, smart-mouthed punks.

I won’t give away the creepy, crawly conclusion, but if you fear insects and snakes, cover your eyes, count to ten and wait for the Craft to end.