First I’d like to mention that I am not a fan of horror, occasionally I will sit and watch something gory or something remotely spooky. However, it is not my favorite genre. With this being said I will try to put my preferences aside for this review. Moving on, The Craft is a supernatural teen horror film directed by Andrew Fleming. Let’s see what the studio has done with this release shall we?
The Craft is about a coven of witches who are still attending high school. These girls are considered outcasts. The trio is comprised of Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True) who is the only black girl in school I may add. They are incomplete as a coven until Sarah, the new girl in school, arrives. Sarah becomes the fourth witch and the coven is complete. With their growing powers they begin to take revenge on everyone who has done them wrong.
So what’s the verdict you ask? Well I got to say Balk is simply scary. The first part of the movie is entertaining and the rest quickly becomes disappointing. The story becomes very predictable and the dialogue is quite goofy at times. The film takes a moral stance and it seems as everything the girls went through is their fault. Yes, I am aware that this film was made back in the mid 90’s so I am sure it has a decent following, but every decade has had its great movies, its decent movies and then the rest. However, The Craft doesn’t fit in the first 2 categories.
There are very few scenes that cause a scare and the suspense is hardly ever there. There are a few cool special effects but it’s tough to carry an entire movie based on magic. The film manages to capture the look of the 90s that I am sure many will reminisce, but it comes short as a horror film. The Craft was quite popular at the time of release and it has garnered a good amount of fans, but the film will appeal to a certain crowd.
The Craft is encoded using an MPEG4-AVC codec and framed at 1.85:1. This transfer is a bit of a letdown. The details don’t stand out or they are very minor, the contrast is poor throughout the film especially in the well lit or daylight scenes. The skin tones appear unnatural at times. The colors look bland and even the dark colors at times do not stand out as they should. Sony could have spent some more time on the transfer and I think with some retouching the film could have looked better.
The film carries an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. While it’s not the best lossless audio track out there it manages to do a decent job. The dialogue is appropriately prioritized and clear. The sound effects output very nicely for example the scene of the 4 girls at the beach while conjuring their witchcraft, the sound of thunder, the waves and the hard wind blowing create a believable soundfield. Like I mentioned before this audio track does a decent job.
Unlike other recent Sony horror films that haven’t received real extras, The Craft has some decent supplements that are worth a watch.
- Director’s Commentary – This commentary plays as the film is playing, the director goes over certain scenes, difficulties and things that occurred during the filming of the movie.
- Conjuring “The Craft” – The Filmmakers talk about the movie, the ides behind the film, weird occurrences in the set, etc.
- The Original Behind The Scenes of “The Craft” – Take a look at the cast and crew, special effects, anecdotes, filmmaker’s comments, etc.
- Deleted Scenes – There’s a total of 3 deleted scenes for the film. These appear to not have been edited since you can actually see the microphone being held in 2 of the extras. These come with optional commentary.
- Previews – Sony took the chance to include previews for some of its current releases.
- BD-Live – View and download trailers from Sony titles.
Yes, The Craft is not a horror film and it may not appeal to everyone. It’s a teen movie that will most likely bring back some memories for some, but for serious horror fans I do not recommend. While the plot has its flaws the video and audio quality does not add positively. The video transfer is sub-par and it has some issues. As previously stated I think some retouches might have made it look sharper. The audio is decent while is not the best sound track it delivers. With this said, I suggest at least a rent before buying unless you are truly a fan of this film.