So another film from an earlier era is going to get the remake treatment, and once again fans of the original aren’t all that impressed. This time out it’s The Craft, the 1996 supernatural teen horror originally directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True and Robin Tunney. It followed four teenage outcasts as they used the occult in order to exact revenge on those who had mocked them.
It was hokey and silly and a lot of fun in an era when goth subculture and the occult was seeing something of a resurgence. The film is a fun little time capsule which absolutely oozes the 1990s.
I mean, it even had Skeet Ulrich and Breckin Meyer in it, complete with their nineties bad-boy haircuts and smouldering gazes. The power of that original film came from a number of factors working in tandem. A great cast.A strong script. Some superb direction. An excellent soundtrack.
For all of its flaws, it worked very well indeed, and while it’s dated due to the lack of smartphones and suchlike, it holds up remarkably well. I went through a phase of being absolutely obsessed with the film, to the point where I actually wrote a sequel in spec script form for fun back in 2000 or so.
That fan script had Nancy escaping from the institute we see her in at the end of the first film and recruiting a new wave of followers to do her bidding. This would, of course, have been stopped by the other girls from the original. But anyway, fantasies of writing The Craft II aside, the thought of a remake never entered the heads of lovers o the film, until it was recently floated that one was on the way.
The question is: WHY? What’s the point?
The original was way better than any hack-job remake could be, and if a remake takes a different direction, then it’ll just be brought down as little more than a pale imitation. To be directed by Leigh Janiak and co-written by Janiak and Phil Graziadei, the new version of The Craft is up against it from the get-go.
Without the presence of Fairuza Balk as the psychotic Nancy, the score of Graeme Revell, the accompanying social zeitgeist which made the original work so well, or indeed anything useful at all, a remake of The Craft is completely pointless, universally unwanted and pretty much destined to fail.
Would I like to see it work? Yes. I’d love it to be amazing and improve on the original, but even if it turned out to be the greatest film ever, a remake of The Craft will come with a huge amount of stigma attached to it and will not replicate the impact or longevity of the real thing.
Go on, Janiak, prove me wrong. I really, really want to enjoy it.