The Craft

"Now is the time, now is the hour. Ours is the magic, ours is the power."

Witchy powers given to angsty teenagers, what could go wrong?

(This review includes spoilers.)

This movie happens in fours. There are four main characters. Four directions. Four elements. Even the movie can be seen as four parts: 1) New girl in town. 2) Girls forming a bond. 3) It's all fun and games until someone gets thrown through a window. 4) Magic tears them apart/final showdown/Bug-o-rama. I appreciate patterns I can follow.

The new girl in town is Sarah. Her family moves into a mansion in Los Angeles that's been neglected and is now falling apart. I only mention this because with all the overgrown vines and snakes, it looks like somewhere that's closer to a swamp in Louisiana than any part of LA that I've seen. Sarah is a natural born witch (she can balance pencils with her mind, don't be jealous), and has always felt like an outcast. Probably because she was sporadically going deaf, but whatevs it makes her more than ready to embrace friendship with the fellow outcasts or as they're affectionately known, 'The Bitches of Eastwick'. Chris, the cool jock, takes an interest in the new girl too, and of course proceeds to spread rumors about her promiscuity and lack of a skill set in bed. Naturally, this makes him even more appealing to her and she eventually casts a spell "to love [herself] more and allow [herself] to be loved more by others. Especially Chris Hooker." You know what they say... if he's mean to you and shows a general lack of respect, then he must be a good guy underneath that really cares about you.

Bonnie is a burn victim with low self-esteem. You can tell because in the first part of the movie she wears a lot of giant coats (which have to be uncomfortable in the heat of LA), keeps her hair in her face and never looks up. She wants "to be beautiful outside as well as in," and once she gets it she heads straight for the backless shirts and push-up bras, because who wouldn't?

The bonding part of the movie is my favorite. It's so cheesy and predictable that it's perfect. They laugh, they watch Bewitched reruns, play light as a feather stiff as a board and have glamour makeovers. So much fun is had, but it all falls apart when Chris becomes an obsessed stalker and Rochelle's bully start losing her golden locks. There was that scene when Rochelle couldn't look at herself in the mirror, so her reflection turned away from her, but other than Sarah the girls showed no remorse for the people that were affected by magic. In the end, it splintered the group.

Mean Girls taught me that every group of girls needs a leader, no matter how insane. Enter Nancy. She's probably off her rocker from the beginning, but the power she receives turns out to be too much for her to handle. She uses them to kill her stepdad (he sort of had it coming), get rich, and if that's not enough she also wants "all the power of manon." The thing about Nancy is she doesn't bother me nearly as much as Bonnie and Rochelle. Sure, she earned the room in that padded cell, but insanity can't be helped. The betrayal and blatant disregard for their actions could be. Bad sister witches, no broomsticks for a week.

For me, watching this movie is like listening to The Spice Girls. I still enjoyed every minute of it, but how much of that is due to nostalgia?

2 or 3 out of 4 kaleidoscopes of butterflies??

Bits and pieces

I wonder if those dead sharks that manon sent Nancy came with gift receipts, because they really won't go with anything.

At one point Rochelle said that Sarah made Laura Lizzie's hair fall out? Did she make all the wishes come true or was it just meant as a thank you for showing up and completing the compass circle?

When the girls 'called the corners' I noticed the following...
Rochelle brought a fish and called to the west with the powers of water and intuition. She was on the swim team.
Bonnie brought a butterfly and called to the south with the powers of fire and feeling. She was burned by fire and had scars all over her body.
Sarah brought a bird and called to the north with the powers of mother and earth. Her mother died during childbirth.
Nancy brought a snake and called to the east with the powers of air and invention. I can't make a connection here, and I've tried.

Also, the animals they brought were sacrificed, right? Isn't that the first sign of an unstable person?

There were two instances of leaky roofs. First, when Sarah got to her new house and again in Nancy's trailer right before her step-dad died.

The way Bonnie's spell backfires is a little confusing. She becomes mean. She specifically said that she wanted to be beautiful on the inside and the outside. So did her spell only half work?

The magic shop owner served as the obligatory sage teacher, but they never listened to her so I don't know that she really served much point other than candle provider.

The bugs were a bit much, but effective. I would almost certainly die of a panic attack.

Chris: "Oh, shit. It's the bitches of Eastwick."

Bonnie: "Everything in nature steals, you know. Big animals steal from little ones."
Sarah: "Animals steal for survival."

Bus Driver: "You girls watch out for those weirdos."
Nancy: "We are the weirdos, mister."

Rochelle: "I think she doesn't want to be white trash anymore, but I told her, like, you're white, honey, just deal with it."

Lirio: "True magic is neither dark nor white. It's both because nature is both. Loving and cruel all at the same time."

Lirio: "Whatever you send out, you get back times three."

Bonnie: "I spent a big chunk of my life being a monster and now that I'm not I'm trying to enjoy myself. Sorry if that bothers you."

Sarah: "Let's go."
Nancy: "No. He's gotta pay."
Chris: "You're just jealous."
Was he right? I mean she seemed to get most upset after he rejected her each time.

Nancy: "God, if I was as pathetic as you are I would've killed myself ages ago. Get on with it."


Billie Doux said...

I haven't seen this movie in awhile, but I really enjoyed it. Except for the bugs. :) I think of The Craft every time I watched Witches of East End. And The Mentalist.

Loved the review, Laure.

Scarlet Magdalene said...

You have to see the deleted scenes to understand Rochelle's comment, unfortunately. There was a scene, a really good one, where you see that Sarah's power is why the group got power to begin with. She amped them all and helped them to get what they wanted.

It's a great movie, I love it. Cheesy in parts yeah but oh so much fun.

mazephoenix said...

Lovely review. Yes, it's like the Spice Girls..nostalgia informs my opinion of the movie..
I had such a girlcrush on Fairuza Balk as crazy Nancy. She rocked the quasi-goth look.
The candle-provider was Assumpta Serna who I will never forget from Pedro Almodovar's "Matador." That was a great movie too.
Loved this film in all its girl power glory. Great soundtrack too.