Old Lady Movie Night: "The Craft"
NOW, you will remember (I hope?) that once upon a time, the wonderful Erin Mallory Long and I traded posts for a day. Instead of her writing about her five favourite things, I wrote about them instead (and chose the movie, Practical Magic), and instead of me being your resident Old Lady, Erin was.
Erin wrote about The Craft because it is great. And while I thought, “Ah I’ll never write about this, I think it’s too dark.” But I’m confident we’ve all grown enough together to embrace all types of fil-ims because damn it, we’re women. We’ve seen it all. Or some. We’ve seen enough, basically. (How’s that? Okay? I just want everyone to be included here.) Also, Erin and I are legit pals, so I now realize she won’t think I’m stealing her material. (Because I’m not.) (Imagine, though? Like, how would I even come back from that?) (I wouldn’t. I’d move onto an ice floe.)
So let’s do this now. Let’s watch The Craft because I’m in the mood to feel magical and terrified, and also, I don’t think anyone wants to sit through six hours of the BBC Pride and Prejudice even though FYI I will gladly write about it whenever you need/want me to. I AM HERE FOR YOU GUYS. #forever
Now. Shall we begin?
1. I wasn’t allowed to see this movie growing up, and also I reported my best friend for “devil worshipping” because of it
Oh boy. Well I’ve told you how cool I wasn’t, but let’s add grade seven tattle-tale into the mix for effect. See, three girls (one being now one of my best friends) at my Catholic elementary school LOVED The Craft. And they loved magic, and they loved spells, and I, having no friends, and also having a horrible misunderstanding of “the craft,” told on them for doing spells at school. Specifically, I told our grade seven teacher they were doing “devil worship.” (They were not.) Needless to say, they got in a lot of trouble, and my friend’s mom’s Wicca book almost got confiscated which would’ve been especially bad since her mom told her she COULDN’T bring it to school in the first place.
The good news is, everyone survived (and also, I have educated myself). The funnier news is I only told my friend it was me about two years ago, and she was horrified and also hated me for about ten minutes because of it.
2. Seriously, I want to shout “THE ’90S!” during every scene
And I’m two minutes in. A cab just pulled up, and it looks like the cars in my neighbourhood from that era (sort of), and I am probably going to end up freaking my cat out by how often I shout “the ’90s!” during the next 90 minutes. #90s #90 #cool
3. The thing is, Nancy Downs was pretty rad
Aside from having obvious homicidal tendencies as the movie goes on. But say she’d channeled those (or anything) into, maybe, art. Don’t you think she would’ve been the most cool 20-something our world has ever seen? I MEAN, YES. She really lost her mind in the criminal sense of the word. But when she first walks down the hall at the beginning? It’s like, “OKAY YES, NANCY, WE GET IT. YOU ARE COOL.” (Louis Peitzman at Buzzfeed actually did a great piece on this, and yes, I may be 27, but I am absolutely going to bookmark it for when I need Nancy-inspired life advice.)
4. “You are going to play the same character in every film, okay Breckin Meyer?” – the ’90s
First Clueless, then The Craft. I blame the hair, Mr. Meyer. But I don’t blame you — because every boy had that hair in the ’90s, and if they didn’t, none of us knew what to do about it. (At least not me, whose heart was CRUSHED when the guy I liked in grade eight cut his Leonardo DiCaprio-esque hair on grad picture day and wore it in a Caesar. A CAESAR.)
Too much. Let’s please move on.
5. Ugh, but no wonder Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle don’t like anyone — it’s rumour central up in there
You know, popular guy talking to Sarah, maaaaaybe lay off the rumours about the “bitches of Eastwick” to get Sarah to like you. WE GET IT. THOSE GIRLS ARE DIFFERENT. But he’s throwing around words like “slut” and talking about burn marks, and he’s never confirmed either, and also AIN’T NONE OF YO BUSINESS. Who is this guy? Every dude from the town I grew up in? I say good day, sir. I mean, again, true, Nancy gets super scary (and seems to intimidate even her friends). But she’s just trying to figure it out! Because AREN’T WE ALL, POPULAR GUY WHOSE NAME I CHOOSE TO OMIT. AREN’T WE ALL.
6. Also, remember how he invites her to football practice and then Sarah goes?!
UGHHH I DID THIS. That’s why I feel so “Nooooo!” about everything. First, he’s all “What are you doing after school? Oh, I’m busy — you can WATCH ME PLAY FOOTBALL” and then he just walks away like he really thinks he’s something special. Buddy, I’ve got news for you: it does not get better.
But this is the worst part: SHE GOES. Oh Sarah, no! Run! This was like when the guy I liked all through high school skateboarded and I just sat there. Watching him and his friends skateboard. And when I asked to, they said I was a poser. IS SARAH A POSER TOO, POPULAR GUY? No. She is a witch. And that is amazing. YOU ARE DISMISSED, SON.
7. Then Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle have Sarah’s back!
And yes, no, I know this all ends in a disaster I KNOW THAT. But can we please just give it up for them warning her against him? That is what sisterhood is all about, you guys. And not even in this capacity, because their friend group needs a little help, but just in life. Have your friends’ backs in terms of guys who aren’t good.
8. Who steals from an occult shop, though
I’ll tell you who: people who are not using their heads. You don’t steal period, but you REALLY don’t steal from a store that contains powerful items! I mean, come on. Way to be caught by the owner, Sarah, because you have avoided having the day rued. (Is that a thing?) But can we also talk about stealing in general? Because when I was in high school (everyone falls asleep and cries out of boredom), EVERYONE STOLE. I hated going to the mall because oh my word just SO MUCH STEALING. I was too afraid because I knew my parents would probably disown me (or cry — which I think is worse), but everyone else! So I stopped going shopping because I’d seen that episode of The Simpsons one too many times, thanks. (And when I worked at American Eagle and saw teens steal I would instill the fear of whatever power that be into them. Because come on, guys. I just folded those jeans.)
9. GO TO BED, POPULAR CHRIS
UGHHHHH THAT GUY. SKEET ULRCIH WHAT IS YOUR ISSUE. Also, Christine Taylor, why are YOU being a monster? Like, not even just a sad teenage girl, but an actual garbage person. But shout-out to Rochelle being an adult and asking her what the problem is — even though the answer is actually racist beyond all reason. This school is terrible! I hate this school! Why can’t everyone just act like kind humans? JUST BE KIND HUMANS OR EVEN JUST HUMANS IN GENERAL, PLEASE.
10. And we totally can’t blame Nancy for being a troubled person
Now that we’ve gotten a glimpse into her personal life, NO WONDER she is struggling and unable to deal with her moods and emotions. The girl needs to be taken out of that leaky shack pronto. Did we all feel this way upon seeing The Craft for the first time? To be honest, I’ve only seen it twice and I wasn’t paying as much attention as I am now, so I feel like I missed the sympathy you’re supposed to be feeling. But now? ALL THE SYMPATHY. Girlfriend, keep going! I would like to say. Because man alive, you’ll graduate soon, and YOU WILL BE FREE. (Cue: George Michael’s “Freedom,” the only appropriate song ever. Also, maybe “America” by Simon and Garfunkel, but that’s because Fairuza Balk was in Almost Famous too.)
11. “We are the weirdos, mister.”
And in that moment, I swear we were all infinite (and also the weirdos).
12. Light as a feather stiff as a board scares me
I DON’T KNOW WHY. But like, if it happened, I’d get really freaked out because I’d need an explanation, and if it didn’t… no, it would. THAT’S THE THING. I would absolutely be Rochelle: “Who’s got the instructions?” Or I would start screaming. I’m just not ready for that sort of magic. (Though obviously, yes, I think it’s the bomb.)
13. So we’re all having a good time
Everyone’s dreams are coming true, Nancy lives in a really nice apartment, but then… Mr. Ulrich shows up. Shows up and proposes co-habitation. In the middle of the night. Things are about to get real, you guys. [Man with the one arm from Arrested Development shows up] “And this is why you should never use a love spell.”
14. Also, why are they disrespecting the store owner?
Right? All four girls are witches and/or practice witchcraft. So why are they going into the witch STORE to laugh at and belittle the woman who owns it? Who KNOWS ABOUT THIS FOR A LIVING? That’s like making sushi at home, then going to a sushi restaurant and laughing at the chef while he makes your food. (Obviously, two different things, but still.) Also, it’s just genuinely in bad taste. If someone is trying to explain the difference between light magic and dark magic (trick question: neither exist, they are both because nature is both), you don’t laugh at them and go “haha …yeaahhh… whatever.” Get with the program, main characters. Come on.
PS. But seriously I really do take that, “Whatever you get out, you get back times three” mantra to heart. It’s just a straight-up good way to think.
15. Sarah’s face when Nancy tells her the serpent is actually powerful is everything
So Sarah’s telling this dramatic and sad and important story about her life (“I’d see bugs and snakes everywhere”), and Nancy just looks at her and goes, “Actually the serpent is actually powerful.” And Sarah just looks at her like… “What?” No words are spoken. Just the look Deb from Empire Records gives Gina every time she speaks. And same, Sarah. I’d be like “Hi, remember my story? Why are you kissing a snake that you are holding in your hands?” Also I would probably leave because she’s not exactly being a great friend.
16. Honestly, Nancy needs a talking to from the aunts in Practical Magic
Remember in Practical Magic (duh) when the aunts tell Sally and Gillian that they can’t do certain types of spells and also they must respect magic? NANCY NEEDS THIS BIG TIME. Also, maybe all of them do? Sarah needs a reminder that she’s got to take what she’s doing seriously, and Nancy needs a reminder that she’s not God/a superior being/whatever word you would like me to use here. Bonnie and Rochelle are doing fine, but I think they might abandon witchcraft when they head for university. OR they might educate themselves and get into it more. Either way, Sarah and Nancy. Let’s have a talk.
Also, oh my god those poor sea creatures.
17. I’m ready to draw parallels between Christine Taylor in this and Christine Taylor in Friends now
Because remember when Rachel tells her to shave her head so Ross won’t like her? (Her being Christine?) I do. And yes, this example is tragic, and one is comedic, but … listen, it was a pop culture example I really needed to reference, and now here we are I’m sorry.
18. Okay, so minus the homicide, Nancy’s confrontation with Chris is pretty amazing
Granted, the jury’s still out on whether Nancy would’ve changed back to Nancy if Sarah HADN’T walked in, but how many times have you wanted to yell the whole thing about the way some guy treats women. And of course, the “I’M SORRY!” repetition which is TERRIFYING. Either way, had she just let him float for a bit, and then lock him in the closet or something, this scene would’ve been for all of us. Instead, it is only partly for all of us, and then for none of us (especially Skeet Ulrich).
19. You’re not doing witchcraft right, Nancy!
Also, why have Bonnie and Rochelle turned into terrible people?! IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SPIRITUAL THING IT ISN’T ABOUT INFLICTING DEATH. Everything the store-lady says is lovely and makes up for everything awful. Don’t you want to hug her? Of course you do. Why would you run away from her, Sarah? USE HER AS A WONDERFUL MENTOR. Life is hard. Life in this movie is harder.
God, I love it.
20. Seriously though why does Nancy care so much about Sarah?
Right? WHO. CARES. I mean, we should all care about Sarah. But why is Nancy spending so much time on this? Like, out of all the things she could be doing. Literally, with all this power she could be winning the lottery or being a movie star. But she has to go after Sarah? Who she hates now? OUT OF ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD? No. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 spells. Nancy, you could’ve chosen the high road. Instead, you literally went mad with power. And murderous rage.
20. b) But seriously this movie is boss
JUST THE BOMB DOT COM. How do we not talk about it more? Why are we not writing think piece upon think piece about it? Because do you know what The Craft could also represent? REAL LIFE POWER. In that you can either be a person who does good things or a person who does bad things. Though I will say in the case of Nancy, I just feel bad. Let’s assume that currently, Nancy is better and living a healthy life and working as a social worker or something.
And everyone is best friends. FOREVER.*
*That sounded menacing. I didn’t mean it to.
Also oh my god THERE’S A CRAFTMUSICAL!? What are we doing here, in our homes?!