The '90s were not known for boundary breaking excursions into hardcore horror. All told, it was a pretty light decade for fear fare. But I'm not adverse to "light" horror. This stuff has to be fun sometimes, too, you know. Too often in recent years, horror seems to be about punishing the viewer for watching. I don't mind a horror movie being grueling but when it comes to stuff like A Serbian Movie (2010), I'll stick with something more mainstream, thanks. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe it's because I'm a parent now. I don't know. I grew up on shit like Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and Make Them Die Slowly (aka Cannibal Ferox, 1981) but nowadays, when I hear that a movie is incredibly fucked-up, I've got no interest in it.
But I digress. What I meant to be talking about is a movie that is as untraumatizing as they come, the 1996 teen witch thriller The Craft. Like I said, I'm fine with movies like this. A lot of horror fans huff and puff about any movie that isn't going to make their friends and family sick to their stomachs but The Craft is a good time as far as I'm concerned. 1996 was the year that the long horror drought finally ended and The Craft was one of the first cracks in the dam before Scream let the flood loose. Horror hadn't been gone-gone, of course - horror never completely goes away - but that next big wave or trend just hadn't come since the '80s. But the sleeper success of The Craft signalled that a new resurgence in teen horror - with attractive casts and kickin' soundtracks - was coming.
And whatever your opinion of The Craft, you've got to give it up for Fairuza Balk's performance. You've just got to.
For my full Summer Shocks review, click here.