“Your power comes from within.”
Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) has a hard time making friends at her new school. When she meets Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True), Sarah is excited to finally have friends, even if they get into some pretty witchy after-school activities.
Of Sarah’s three new friends, Nancy is obviously the most problematic. She has a sour attitude and the girls’ magic endeavors only make Nancy thirsty for more power. One viewpoint of The Craft suggests that Nancy might actually be fantasizing the entire story.
- Delusions –
Nancy believes that events such as multiple sharks lying dead on the beach are somehow connected to her powers. Even her friends – literally in a coven with her – are disturbed by Nancy’s behavior.
- Hallucinations –
Nancy sees images in books moving around. If she’s a witch, this could be magic; but if she’s a girl with a serious mental illness, then she is seeing things that are not there.
- Compulsive Behavior –
A thief by nature, Nancy pockets anything without paying for it; she even flirts with a guy she doesn’t even like to annoy her supposed friend (which may not break witch code, but it definitely breaks girl code).
- Hostility –
…Do I even have to argue this one, Readers?
If you don’t love the notion that The Craft is all a crazy story spawned by Nancy’s brain, then groupthink might be more your speed! Groupthink is a sociological idea that group decision-making leads to a breakdown of individual creativity. If all the girls buy into witchcraft, their individual identities break apart.
Sarah actually points this out; once the girls have used their powers for individual gain, each of their personalities shift. In fact, each of the girls gets a little more selfish, sadistic, or narcissistic, making each of them a lot more like Nancy and a lot less like themselves. Bonnie becomes more egotistical when her scars vanish; Rochelle becomes more haughty about her diving skills once she makes the racist girl terrorizing her go bald; and Sarah is horrified by her crush’s puppy love.
The Craft then, might not be so much about a girl losing her mind, but a group of girls losing their abilities to tell right from wrong.