Mean Girls was very obviously inspired by Heathers — the original Mean Girl movie, starring the timeless Winona Ryder. However, there’s another movie that should get credit for doing the damn thing first: The Craft. The Craft is basically Mean Girls + witchcraft, and if you run down the movie’s shared plot points, the parallels are spookier than Fairuza Balk’s facial expressions.
Here are 15 reasons that Mean Girls and The Craft are soul twins:
1. The Craft and Mean Girls prominently feature four girls, each of them impossibly beautiful for high school standards. They really like to play pranks on those around them to get power over them (through witchcraft, through trickery and gossip) and walk down the school halls in slow motion, as if they own the joint. Love ya!
2. The movie begins when a new girl from moves to the clique’s town (LA, Evanston) from somewhere else (San Francisco, Africa) and has a difficult time fitting in.
3. She’s much smarter than a lot of the other students around her and sits in class behind the object of her affection, a popular jock who used to be involved with the head “mean girl” of the clique. In each, he’s clean shaven, has short brown hair and is generally kind of clueless about what’s going on around him.
4. Although the clique taps new girl to come sit with them, she’s initially reluctant but gives in after they take her shopping — because a girl can resist friendship, but she can’t resist new shit.
5. The clique’s leader is a sociopath with rage issues who seeks to control those around her, and in each case, the actress who plays her gives the movie’s most memorable performance. Do you think anyone cares that much about Robin Tunney? The Craft is all about Fairuza Balk. If you weren’t obsessed with her in Middle School or High School, you’re doing it wrong.
6. One of her friends has large breasts and is just along for the ride. She would be the prettiest and most popular girl in school, if not for one thing (her scars, being “such a slut.”) Both of the actresses who play this character end up (arguably) becoming the biggest stars outside of their respective.
Debate: Who is more successful post-Mean Girls, Rachel McAdams or Amanda Seyfried? Go!
7. The other friend often talks for her and is generally forgotten about amongst the castmates, as she had the least successful career afterward. (None for you, Rachel True.) In each case, this fourth mean girl has curly hair and her follicles are a huge plot point. Fourth mean girl will have to get revenge against a pretty blonde girl for various reasons (racism, going out with Jason).
8. The girls get their power from a book that holds all of their secrets. They battle over this book with an older woman with long brown hair and Greek cheekbones who is more wise than they are — but they don’t know that yet. Later the new girl will have to seek counsel from her to destroy the book and take down the clique.
9. Although the group accepts the new recruit, the head mean girl distrusts her — knowing that she’s more powerful than she is. The other girls might be her worker bees, but she knows the new girl has the power to be the new queen bee.
10. Regina George is rich the whole film, and Nancy’s class status is also her defining background characteristic. Like Regina, she has a blonde mother who likes to drink and wear loud clothing and has a habit of embarrassing her in front of her friends. After Nancy gets rich, she buys a nice car to drive all of her friends around in. It’s not a Silver Lexus, but it will do.
11. The new girl starts to become more like them and lose her sense of identity in the group but snaps out of it — after the head mean girl betrays her by hooking up with the guy she’s interested in (or in the case of The Craft, the guy she put a love spell on who is now monomaniacally obsessed with her). Because the mean girl used to go with him, she feels entitled to date him again and doesn’t seem to feel that badly about the repercussions (the new girl’s feelings of social isolation, death).
12. The new girl’s house gets trashed when her parents are out of town. In Mean Girls, it’s because they’re seeing Ladysmith Black Mambazo (“You love Ladysmith Black Mambazo!”). In The Craft, it’s because Nancy was duping Sarah into thinking her father was dead.
13. Each film’s climactic scene entails a large confrontation and showdown between the new girl and the mean girl, one in which the new girl has to come into her full power (as a witch, as the new queen bee). Each scene will involve one of the two being hit by a large object (a dresser, a bus).
14. After the climax, the queen bee’s power is taken away (through binding spells, having her spine shattered) and the new girl has the option of taking over. In each, the worker bees offer her their allegiance — because they have no power without a leader and don’t know what to do. The main difference here is that in Mean Girls, Cady takes them up on it, until learning an important lesson during a Mathletes competition. In The Craft, Sarah has already learned her lesson.
15. Both films are awesome and you should watch them immediately.
Your turn, readers. There are a slew of parallels between The Craft and Mean Girls. Which are some that you’ve noticed? In the comments, let’s start a conga line of overanalyzing pop culture. It’s a Friday morning. What else are we going to do?