For many teenagers, high school can be an absolutely terrifying experience. Between dealing with hormones, social pressure, trouble at home, and outright bullying from other students, who hasn’t wished for a boost of power during that time?
Perhaps that’s why The Craft resonated so much with young audiences 25 years ago. It was empowering and exciting to see four teenage girls use witchcraft to stand up for themselves and get back at those who had wronged them. And it was captivating to watch as some of them took it way too far.
So in honor of its 25th anniversary today, here are 25 fun facts about The Craft!
1. As part of Fairuza Balk’s research, she frequently visited the Panpipes Magickal Marketplace store in Hollywood. She even wound up buying the store and operating it for 6 years.
2. According to director Andrew Fleming, they initially sought a PG-13 rating, but because the movie’s subject matter dealt with teenage girls using witchcraft, the MPAA automatically wanted to give it an R.
3. Despite playing teenagers, the main actresses were all aged 21-23, with Rachel True being 29 during filming.
4. Actresses like Alicia Silverstone, Angelina Jolie, and a then teenage Scarlett Johansson all auditioned for the lead characters.
5. Originally Rochelle’s character was going to struggle with an eating disorder, but once Rachel True was cast, her struggle was changed to racism.
6. True didn’t realize this until after being cast (since she had been given the original script to audition). At the time she wasn’t too happy about this change, but in Shudder’s 2018 documentary Horror Noire, she admitted that she was glad this storyline was included. In fact over the years, many young African American fans approached her and said how much they related to Rochelle.
7. Because Robin Tunney had just shaved her head for Empire Records, Sarah’s iconic light brown hair was a wig.
8. A total of 3,000 snakes were used during filming.
9. A real life Wiccan, Pat Devin was hired as an advisor. She was the one who wrote all the incantations and ensured that the Wiccan subject matter was portrayed accurately and respectfully.
10. The Catholic School where the characters attend was shot at the real life Verdugo Hills High School in Tujunga, Los Angeles. It was also featured in Heathers, Not Another Teen Movie, and Little Fires Everywhere.
11. Rochelle’s parents appeared in one scene in the script, but it was never filmed.
12. While Nancy was covered in bugs, Fairuza Balk was fortunate that they used a life sized cast of her for the bugs to crawl on and digitally superimposed it onto her.
13. Rochelle’s levitation was done by blending practical and digital effects. Rachel True was merely lying on a board that was raised up by a pole under the floor. And in post-production, the pole was digitally erased.
14. The beach incantation scene was shot at the iconic Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. This same location has been used in a variety of films including Inception, Grease, Point Break, The Karate Kid, and many others.
15. The shooting script (as well as several fan theories) suggested that Sarah was only one who actually had magic and that the other girls were only able to by tapping into her power.
16. Initially, there was a plan to do a direct-to-video sequel focusing on Nancy in the asylum, but it never happened.
17. Upon its release, Rachel True was tragically and unjustly ignored by press junkits and didn’t even get invited to the MTV Movie Awards with the rest of the main cast. In a tragically ironic sense, this mirrored her character who was often ignored and overlooked.
18. Andrew Fleming always felt that the TV series Charmed was a complete ripoff of The Craft. Robin Tunney even admitted that for years some fans thought she was on Charmed because they were mixing it up with this movie.
19. Nearly a year after shooting this film, Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich costarred together again in Wes Craven’s Scream.
20. While not connected in any way, Josh Trank’s 2012 found footage movie Chronicle was referred to by some as the “male version of The Craft” since it deal with teenage boys getting powers and using them to empower themselves, with one going way too far.
21. Considered a moderate box office success, grossing $55.6 million on a $15 million budget. It also quickly gained cult status for years to come.
22. Critics gave it mostly mixed reviews. Many praised the performances by Tunney, True, Balk, and Campbell, but were critical of the writing.
23. The Craft was nominated for Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards, but lost to Scream (which also starred Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich).
24. Fairuza Balk and Robin Tunney won the MTV Movie Award for Best Fight as well.
25. A sequel/reboot, The Craft: Legacy was released in 2020, also to mixed reactions. It was praised for its LGBTQ+ representation, but like the original was criticized for this script and tone. Due to theaters being shut down for most of 2020, it was released to streaming and sadly came and went without the same impact as the original.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!