Hi Tarot Bumblebees,
Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the classic witchy movie The Craft (1996) and the new movie The Craft: Legacy (2020). I’m not going to be reviewing the films per se; I’m more going to be discussing the merits of the movie (or lack thereof) from this opinionated witch’s perspective. Now, I don’t speak for the entire community so don’t come at me assuming that I do.
Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen the movies and don’t want anything ruined for you, back away from the device.
General Feelings on The Films
They are entertainment; they aren’t documentaries. It’s okay as a Pagan or a Witch to sit down and just enjoy a movie about Witches. I say, the more the merrier. I enjoyed both films, I enjoyed Legacy more than I thought I was going to. I didn’t go into it just wanting an excuse to crap all over it. Was it perfect? No. Was it cheesy? In some places it was cheese central. Was it predictable? Yes, but it was good fun. It showed Witches in a way that isn’t just some stereotype, aka inverted pentagrams and dark arts.
The original “The Craft” movie was and still is ICONIC AF. I love it so much that I have the DVD, and I watch it almost every year. It came out when I was in High School, and it was something that delighted this little closeted witch. Not only because this was a film with all women in the leads but that it was about the Craft! I wanted the store that the woman worked in (didn’t we all) and a coven to share my practice with.
Accurate Representation of Witches Themselves as People/Characters
Every Witch is different and practices their craft in their own way. Thankfully, both movies showed that it was not all about “getting a boy to like me” when the girls used their magic in the movies. In “The Craft” (1996), Rochelle was dealing with racist bitches (who deserved to lose their hair). Bonnie just wanted to be scar-free and less self-conscious, and Nancy was dealing with neglect and abuse in her home and wanted to be free of it. That is some real shit that people deal with every day.
I did like that there was more diversity among the witches and characters in The Craft Legacy (2020). I hope that they make another one so we can see what happens with Nancy and Lily when they spend time together. Again, there were a lot of cliches but the creators tried.
I highly recommend Clementine Ford’s deep dives on Instagram (it’s in her saved highlights) of both of The Craft movies. She talks about the characters and how women, girls, and power are portrayed a lot better than I can.
Accurate Representation of The Craft as a Practice
We could be here all day talking about the inaccuracies of the Craft movies because it’s a work of fiction. While they did bring in consultants to work on the film to pepper in some real witchcraft, that doesn’t change the fact it’s fictional.
One of the most memorable lines about real Witchcraft and magic from the 1996 movie is this one, from the Witch Priestess, Lirio.
“True magic is neither black nor white – it’s both because nature is both. Loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own. Do you understand? Well, then understand this: whatever you send out there you get back times three. No, 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”.
Bindings, glamors, spells, incantations to the elements, all of those things are real, and witches practice some or all of these things when there is a need. However, it’s not done with CGI special effects and fantastical applications.
Some major inaccuracies include:
- You don’t “need a fourth” to complete a coven. Covens can be of any size.
- You don’t need to be born with any specific powers or from a lineage of witches
- Our powers are not that of CGI Witches.
- The deity, Manon, was made up for the film.
- Warlocks (David Duchovny’s character in Legacy) are not real in the way they are represented in the film
- You can’t make someone fall desperately in love with you with a love spell
- Levitation is CGI, not reality.
I could go on, but I don’t want to pick apart the movies; I actually really enjoy them. In the end, whether or not you like the films, “The Craft” and “The Craft: Legacy” has helped the popularity of modern Witches stay in the mainstream.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the movies, and if either of them were influential in your journey. Also, I was also lucky to be a guest on Lucy Cavendish’s podcast Witchcast chatting about The Craft so check out that episode!