101 min., 1996
Written by Peter Filardi/Andrew Fleming
Directed by Andrew Fleming
My rating: ★★★★
High school can be a real witch.
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Our story begins with Sarah and her mom and dad moving into a new home. Some crazy guy shows up at their door and you get the feel that something strange is going to start happening. Sarah goes to school and one girl notices that she is balancing a pencil on her desk. The girl tells her friends that she (Sarah) must be their fourth. Then we meets her soon to be witch friends.
Nancy is the real bitchy one that comes from a household of drunks. Bonnie’s back is covered in really bad scars. Lastly, there is Rochelle who is consistently picked on by the other girls at school, to the extreme of saying to her “I just don’t like negroids.” I don’t know what a negroid is, but it’s probably a really bad put-down. The only other main character that we meet is Chris, Sarah’s love interest.
The girls are having a good time, until the bad things pile too high and they can’t take it anymore. They try to cast a spell and it actually works for them. At first it’s a real blessing; then it turns into a nightmare. Truly the saying “be careful what you wish for” rings true. With things getting rough the girls try to “invoke the spirit of Manon” (Manon is basically everything around everyone, in other words all of existence). It works, and they gain a lot more power, ranging from changing traffic lights to walking on water. This all leads to the final showdown between good and bad witches.
The acting is surprisingly great, with Neve Campbell really playing her role perfectly. When her character is covered in scars, you can really see how embarrassed she is over them. Robin Tunney and Rachel True also play their characters extremely well. Fairuza Balk is the only one to play it a little over the top, but it also really works for the character that she is playing. She pulls off the completely crazy bitch really well, sometimes too well.
The effects of the movie are actually on par with the movies of today. The CG used is in very small doses, and it’s done well enough that it flows almost seamlessly with the rest of what’s going on. It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb like other movies that try to use CG. The use of real snakes and cockroaches is also nice, because nowadays everyone is trying to CG even animals in movies which is lame.
This is really a movie about the empowerment of women, and the way that they can stand on their own two feet, which is nice to see done this well. It’s nice to see a movie stand the test of time as well has this one has. Is it the best teen witch movie of all time? Probably not, but it is definitely in the top three Great effects, top notch acting and a universal plot of troubles at school really make this a winner in my book.Have You Read...?