Real witch Sarah is new in town, and wants to blend in. However, she is quickly spotted by a wanna-be-witch trio who function as the generic school misfits. Things start getting interesting when their blackmagic begins to work, with murderous consequences.
If awards were bestowed upon films for far-fetchedness, this latest variation on the careworn teen angst theme - a coming-of-age tale garnished with black comedy and OTT horror -would surely have accumulated a hatful. That said, for all its stupidity, the second effort from Threesome helmer Andrew Fleming provides plenty of schlocky fun.
Troubled teen Sarah (Tunney) falls in with a misfit trio immediately recognisable as outcasts due to their extraordinary eye make-up, skin deformities and fondness for doctoring their school uniforms. They also happen to be into witchcraft, as Sarah discovers when she is inaugurated into their magic circle. But while the quartet's initial bouts of spell-casting - levitation, alopecia imposed upon the school's queen bitch (The Brady Bunch's Christine Taylor) - are amusing, things take a turn for the sinister when head "witch" Nancy (Balk) uses her powers to murderous effect, and Sarah decides enough is enough.
For the first two-thirds this comes across as a lightweight cross between Heathers and The Witches Of Eastwick. There's plenty of dark humour to savour too (mainly courtesy of the snarling, deliciously mean Balk) although the conscious efforts to capture an adolescent audience mean The Craft is never quite as warped as it could have been.
What lets the film down badly, though, is its over-reliance on flashy special effects, giving way to a final reel showdown that becomes increasingly ridiculous by the second and culminates in an unexpectedly malicious pay-off. Still, with suitable suspension of disbelief this makes for agreeable enough nonsense.
With suitable suspension of disbelief this makes for agreeable enough nonsense.