Why 'The Craft' Remake Is Bad News for the Future of Film

Photo: Sony

Sony is remaking The Craft.

Be right back, gotta work some witchcraft to stop this from happening.

I bind you, Sony, from doing harm, harm against other people and harm against yourself.

Okay, while we wait for that spell to kick in, let's start with the obvious question for those responsible:

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At this point, Hollywood's unoriginality isn't exactly surprising. Remember when they wanted to ruin Reality Bites and 10 Things I Hate About You? Or how about when they sucked all the sci-fi feminist goodness from Jem and the Holograms?

On one level, it's nice that people in positions of power are acknowledging cult classics that didn't get the respect they deserved upon initial release. Looking to the past for inspiration on what kind of stories resonate is an understandable move. By all means, take the idea of four bad ass teen witches gaining agency and dealing with all the date rapists, racist bullies and abusive stepfathers in their lives. But think of your own characters and circumstances. Use a different title. Come up with something new.

The argument that movie execs just want to bring films like The Craft to new generations is not good enough, seeing as those who missed it could just watch the original. They don't even have to figure out how a VHS tape works; last time I checked, it was streaming on Netflix.

The one silver lining is that this reboot is set to be written and directed by Leigh Janiak, an up-and-coming horror filmmaker. Having a woman tell the story of other women shouldn't be so revolutionary, yet Hollywood rarely allows this to happen. A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that a mere 1.9 percent of the top-grossing 100 films from 2013 and 2014 were directed by women.

So yes, it's great that this reboot will benefit from the experience of a woman who probably is a big fan of the original herself. But what would be even greater is if Sony gave her the same amount of money to write and direct her own story. How are today's teens supposed to have cult classics of their own 20 years from now, when everything they're offered is a regurgitation?

That spell I cast earlier isn't working, so this might call for a bigger appeal.

Hail Manon, serpent of old, ruler of the deep. I invoke thee to convince Hollywood to invest in new narratives from all kinds of people (even those with ovaries) and to stop pillaging our childhoods to make a quick buck. Amen.

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