The Craft: Sarah

Hard to believe it’s been seventeen years since the movie The Craft came out. For all my young readers who may have missed watching this spectacle, it presents another view of what a witches’ coven really is. I’m dedicating this Women Who Wow Wednesday to Sarah Bailey, the natural witch from the film.

Robin Tunney as Sarah Bailey (Photo Credit: movpins.com)
Robin Tunney as Sarah Bailey (Photo Credit: movpins.com)

A couple of years after the release of The Craft, City, Toronto’s premier local movie station at the time, broadcasted this film almost every month for a couple of years. It was something to behold considering there were a lot more entertaining movies to watch such as Armageddon and Bad Boys. Yet, I’m theorizing because a large contingent of teenage girls had the unquenchable desire to meet Leonardo DiCaprio from Titanic, they’d do anything to get close to the star, including casting spells.

I have to admit though, I became hooked with the movie pretty early on before it became a success on City.

Let’s get to the goods, shall we?

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) moves into a new city and joins a witches’ coven. Sound familiar? Well, we’ll leave the Twilight references out of this post for now. Let’s backtrack. Sarah’s new school features a diverse clique of girls. The popular girls take one look at Sarah and label her an introvert. On more than one occasion, they make her the butt of all of their jokes. A boy, who she thought had a thing for her, spread the rumor she was easy after a night of abstinence with the lad.

That’s when Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True) enter the picture. They’re dressed in black, have all sorts of weird stuff going on with them and, oh, yes, they’re witches. They want Sarah. Bonnie noticed her balancing a pencil on its tip in French class–without hands. Naturally, they’re not going to let this opportunity pass. Besides, they need a fourth witch to complete the circle and call the corners. You know, north, south, east, west? The corners. Of course let’s not forget the elements, too. Earth, wind, fire, water. They can’t call the corners without a fourth member in their coven.

Sarah Bailey
Sarah Bailey

Sarah accepts. But little does she know what she’s getting herself into. The magical incantations they perform in the beginning are nothing short of sideshow magic tricks. Silly things like levitation, changing the color of one’s hair, etc. Small stuff, really. It’s only after they summon the corners that things turn creepy.

I don’t want to spoil it, I’m only going to say the lesson in the movie is to be careful what you ask for, it always comes back to you three times over. What goes out comes back to you in threefold. That’s a massive lesson to grasp there for those ever wanting to curse anyone in life. In the movie, Karma is deadly.

Back to Sarah. From a shy, insecure teenager, Sarah becomes a force of reckoning. Not only does she prove herself vulnerable and weak during the tough times, she’s a girl who has that underlying strength to conquer all during the worst of times.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Have you seen The Craft? What did you think of Sarah Bailey? If you ever wanted one power in your life, what would it be?

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20 thoughts on “The Craft: Sarah

  1. I’ve seen this movie about a thousand times. It’s largely to blame for a teen obsession with wicca (an obsession I have definitely long outgrown). I will never be able to watch or recommend it objectively because my brain remembers it too fondly from that age!

  2. I have such a soft spot in my heart for this movie! Sure, there’s the lesson in the corruptive nature of power but the moviemakers also raise the point that you do have choices. Nancy chose to let her newfound power control her, while Sarah chose to control her newfound power, and it doesn’t always have to be bad. And I think we can all agree that Fairuza Balk should have a bigger career, but I also thought the same of Robin Tunney, who was great in this and “Empire Records”. But then she made that “End of Days” movie, which was such a stinkbomb it apparently took her career down with it, for a while.

    • Here’s some trivia for you. Did you know Robin Tunney wore wigs during the entire shoot of The Craft? She had shaved her head while filming Empire Records and she was bald when filming began for her part as Sarah.

  3. This was a very interesting film in a lot of ways. It actually had someone who knew what she was doing involved, and if memory recalls, that was Allison Harlow. SO it got a lot more right than was/is normal. It also created a major storm in the pagan community, as people hated that it showed witches doing bad things. I always loved it, and was very vocal about this. Really a fun film, and I wish Fairuza had a bigger career.

    • I remember websites at the time reporting how the movie had ruffled a lot of Wiccan feathers because of the portrayal of malice in the incantations. I can’t believe I lived through that era. I also wish Fairuza Balk had a bigger career, but that’s how it goes sometime. She was ah-maaazing in the movie.

  4. I remember this movie! Was a staple at sleepovers in my teenage years, for sure. We spent way too much time trying to recreate the “light as a feather, stiff as a board” levitation scene – alas, knowing all of the words was no guarantee of our powers 😉

  5. I adored The Craft when I first saw it over a decade ago – wow, this post of yours makes me feel so old! On many an occasion when Halloween comes around, I get out The Craft and watch the witches do their thing. I was a big fan of Flatliners, and when the writers of that film developed The Craft, I just knew I would like this too. They did an impressive job of bringing up many issues from teenage angst, to issues with relationships and the struggles of adolescent life.
    I agree with your opinion on Sarah – the growth that she experiences in the film is really impressive in her character as she learns to harness her abilities.
    As for the power thing – invisibility seems pretty cool.

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