young witches completes 26 years of release. The film premiered in Hollywood in 1996, and was released in Brazil on October 18, 1996, just in time for Halloween. And in fact, the film is all about the date, being part of a movement (even if inadvertently at the time) of resumption of teen horror, which would really take shape a few months later – with Panicin Wes Craven. young witches while it can be considered part of the same genre, it’s not a slasher, and fits more into the fantasy sub-genre, with doses of supernatural elements – and a lot of teen drama.
The story created by the writer and director Andrew Fleming it’s simple but effective, and talks about “the new girl in high school”. Sarah is a young woman who has just moved with her parents to another city, and there she finds herself in the good graces of three girls rejected by the others. The high school “weirdos” Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle are actually wannabe witches. And Sarah was the missing element to balance this game, giving the power that the trio sought. Once realizing who the real villains and good guys are at the school – after having rehearsed a friendship with the arrogant people of the popular gang – the protagonist accepts to embrace her side. outsider and give marginalized colleagues a chance. Thus, friendship between them is born. However, the four have their own inner demons to fight.
As a way of paying homage to this new classic of teen fantasy and horror cinema, we decided to revisit it, and present some curiosities of its production. Check out the ten most interesting ones below. PS. young witches has not yet become popular with the most popular streaming platforms (Netflix and Amazon) as part of its collection, but we hope it will soon. In the meantime, the movie can be found in its entirety on Youtube for you to warm up the engines.
Read too: Where is the Cast of ‘Young Witches’ (1996)?
01 | Angelina Jolie almost starred
One of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, Angelina Jolie has a millionaire fee and is the owner of two Oscars (being a humanitarian) and another nomination for best actress. Going back 25 years in the past, however, Jolie almost was the protagonist Sarah in young witchespaper that was left with Robin Tunney. At the time, the actress did not have the weight she has today and had just starred in the youth thriller Hackers: Computer Pirates (1995). Other names considered to star in the feature were those of Alicia Silvesterone – who had just come out of success The Patricinhas of Beverly Hills (1995) – and Scarlett Johanssonthe youngest of the three, at the time still a teenager.
02 | Hollywood and racism
This one is for those who think that the discrimination suffered by black actors in Hollywood is “myth” and “mimimi”. Years after the film was released, the actress Rachel True (who plays Rochelle, the only black woman among the main friends) revealed that she was often overlooked in the film’s promotional materials, even though she was one of four leads. Even in interviews and press conferences true was left out, until a (undisclosed) co-star intervened for her. The actress was also the only one of the four not to be invited to that year’s MTV Movie Awards.
Sad coincidence, the subplot of the character of true in the film involves racism, being the only black student at the Catholic school in which the film is set. This part of the script was incorporated after the actress was hired for the role, as the character Rochelle would initially suffer from bulimia and eating disorders. The actress also struggled to get the role, and her own agent didn’t want to recommend her as he considered her too old, at 29 (the other three actresses were in their mid-20s – but all playing teenagers around 20). aged 16). Finally, she switched reps, finding a professional willing to fight for her in the cast. A part of Rochelle’s story also ended up being cut from the film, in which she would show her parents as pretty boring people. The fact would serve to point out Rochelle’s interest in excitement and adventure, reasons which led her to discover magic.
03 | Poor box office and average reviews
Although it is a cult film today, young witches did not make much noise at the box office on its release. The film cost $15 million and saw only $24.8 million return to Sony’s coffers. Even so, the film debuted at number one at the North American box office on its opening weekend. The following week, however, it was sidelined by the blockbuster twister.
With critics divided opinions and is currently with 55% approval on Rotten Tomatoes. At the time of its launch, it had as detractors such as Variety, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, USA Today and the Chicago Sun-Times of Roger Ebert – who despite accusing him of a lack of imagination and being below the general interest, praised the realistic portrayal of the actresses, comparing it to the other side of the coin of The Patricinhas of Beverly Hills. At the corner his defense includes Entertainment Weekly, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.
04 | Continuation
We recently had a series of young witches, which took no less than 24 years to happen. And the film was a fiasco for audiences and critics. The idea of a sequel, however, has been around since the original’s release. The mixed reviews that the film received and the box office that did not impress much threw sand on the plans for the franchise still in the 1996s. The focus of the new film, however, would not be the protagonist Sarah, but the scene-stealer Nancy (Fairuza Balk). It is unknown, however, whether the film would focus on the character’s origins, as a prequel, or whether it would continue directly after the denouement. Another detail is that such a film would be a direct release on video (DVD) and not a production for the big screen – a common practice by Sony at the time, see the continuations of wild girls, Second thoughts and Starship Troopers.
05 | Balk the occultist
Yes, this was not the first time the actress Fairuza Balk (Nancy) played a witch. Still in childhood, at the age of 12, Balk played a little witch in the children’s TV movie, The Worst Witch (1986) – released the year after his first theatrical film, The Fantastic World of Ozsequel to the immortal The Wizard of Oz in which she played Dorothy.
However, Balk’s excitement about young witches was such that the actress, when researching about her character, spells, spells and witchcraft, ended up buying the iconic store on the theme, Panpipes Magickal Marketplace, in Hollywood – a place she managed since the purchase in 1995, until selling it to her clients. colleagues and employees in 2001. This is what the method does.
06 | Tuney’s Wig
Part of the magic of cinema, makeup can work miracles. And hairstyles and wigs fall into this category. See, for example, the imperceptible artificial hair used by the protagonist Robin Tunney in this feature, a fact that many are probably unaware of. It turns out that the actress had actually shaved her head for her character in the comedy. Sex, Rock and Confusion (Empire Records, 1995), vehicle for Liv Tyler about young salespeople at a record and CD store (do you remember them?) in which Tunney assists. Filming wrapped up a month before the production of young witches start, and as it didn’t match Sarah’s characteristics, Tunney had to wear a wig with long locks – you’ll see the film with different eyes, that’s for sure!
07 | Plagiarism
Fans may have noticed that two years after the premiere of young witches in cinemas, the series appeared Charmedwith a very similar premise about three witch sisters – even receiving the title young witches in Brazil. In addition to all the coincidences, the song “How Soon is Now”, by The Smiths, sung in the cover of the band Love Spit Love, which is part of the film’s score, was used for the opening of the series.
Well, maybe it wasn’t such a coincidence. In a 2017 interview, the director Andrew Fleming openly accused Charmed of having plagiarized your film. The filmmaker had plans for a TV series based on the feature, which would have the aforementioned song as the opening theme. His pitch was made for Fox, and Fleming guarantees that the WB was also very interested, with the director even writing the pilot. His idea did not materialize, but the following year Charmed, from the WB, debuted. Other than that, for the actress Robin Tunney the plagiarism was so evident that for years people thought she was part of the show.
08 | Stranger Things on Set
Every horror production, to gain more status, needs to have sinister behind-the-scenes stories.. The Exorcist and poltergeist are clear examples of this. This, in a way, moves fans and aficionados, helping to create a mythology behind the film. And with young witches it was no different. By dealing with themes such as invocations, black magic and sorcery, many charms and conjurations needed to be said and repeated in the recordings by the actresses. According to sources and websites, the quartet used real Wiccan rituals and language to invoke powerful forces – which even caught the attention of experts and scholars.
Bats flying over, tide rising, waves hitting rocks harder and harder and even lack of energy on the set were some of the problems noticed by the production, including the director. Andrew Fleming. The filmmaker cites some of these cases during the recordings of young witches every time the girls started their ceremony. The specialist Pat Devinpresent on set, says that “Manon, a fictional entity created for the film, sounds very similar to Mananan, Gaelic god of the sea”.
09 | Censorship
In interviews in the DVD extras the director Andrew Fleming states that those involved were looking for a lower rating for the film, PG-13, in order to broaden the range of viewers and not leave out the film’s teenage target audience. Nonetheless, young witches ended up receiving the R classification – which restricts the entry of minors under 17 years old unaccompanied by parents or guardians. The reason? The film deals with teenage girls using witchcraft and dark magic.
10 | the male copies
When an idea is good, even if it doesn’t immediately succeed in Hollywood, you can be sure that it will be tried again and again. Thus, we had some very similar investments to young witches debuting years later. Exactly ten years after the feature with the four teenage friends, it was released by the same Sony, The pact (The Covenant, 20006), a film with a similar premise focused on the male universe and action. The film directed by Renny Harlin went completely blank, although it counts with famous names like sebastian stan and taylor kitsch in the cast. Another considered a male version of this story is fiction narrated in a found footage style. Unlimited Power (2012), from Josh Trank. In the plot, three teenagers gain supernatural gifts that they use to take revenge on their oppressors, resulting in terrible tragedies.
Today a cult production, young witches recently won a lousy sequel, entitled Young Witches: New Sisterhood.