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Clueless 90s cult teen movies remake

The 90s teen films no one should mess with

The Craft is getting a remake, but here’s five cult classics Hollywood needs to stay away from

Yesterday, teen witches across the world got the news no one had been expecting: The Craft (1996) was getting a remake. Reactions were divided into two camps – the overjoyed and the outraged. How could a new film ever live up to that level of 90s teen movie perfection? While we wait to see whether they murder or give new life to the classic, here are five other cult films we really hope Hollywood stays away from.


Murder. A make-over. Kinky sex. Rose McGowan as the epitome of evil, and not just high school evil. Jawbreaker (1999) has it all. It’s the enduring teen tale that took a familiar genre into dark new depths of depravity, as three girls – led by Satan-in-Heels McGowan – try to cover up the accidental murder of a friend. From the strapless tops paired with matching chokers to the amazingly late 90s bedrooms, and the prom scene to end all prom scenes (“I killed the teen dream! Deal with it!”) Jawbreaker is perfect just as it is, whatever that 7% on Rotten Tomatoes may say. 


Gregg Araki’s The Doom Generation (1995, part two in his Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy after Totally Fucked Up and Nowhere, both of which could have a spot in this list) is a visual feast and a pioneering tale of pre-Tumblr teenage alienation. With gore, promiscuity, references to the AIDS crisis via Downward Spiral era Trent Reznor lyrics, a murderous rampaging road trip, and the eternal line “I’m going to lop his dick off like a chicken head” it held a mirror up to the anxieties and empty commercialism of 90s America. Don’t. Touch. It.


As much as we love to indulge in 90s fashion nostalgia, there are some cultural exports from the era that are just so perfect they deserve to be preserved  in time and LEFT ALONE FOREVER. Clueless (1995) is one of them (you hear that Iggy?). With its plaid twin-sets, feather boas, leopard print and that hat, it’s fallen into film and fashion folklore. Case in point: “This is an Alaïa!” Let’s be honest: Clueless today would just be rich girls who are more concerned with snapping selfies in their Jeeps than organising their school’s Pismo Beach disaster relief fund. 


Featuring Ryan Phillippe being the first person to seduce anyone whilst wearing rimless glasses, some forbidden step-sibling sexual tension and a token Sarah Michelle Gellar/Selma Blair lesbian make-out scene that paved the way for such classics as Jennifer’s Body and Black Swan, Cruel Intentions (1999) could never be remade. It might be based on that 18th-century-French tale of debauchery, but how could you hope to replicate such an iconic cast of 90s teen icons, all in their young, beautiful prime?


While the story of an indie record shop fighting against the rising tide of Amazon could totally work today, there are good reasons no one should even try to revisit Empire Records (1995). Mainly because there is no one who could look like Liv Tyler – playing Corey, the speed freak on her way to Harvard –  in that now-iconic blue mohair sweater and plaid skirt combo. Also because we’re pretty sure health and safety wouldn’t permit a last minute public party with a band on the roof. 

For more nostalgia, check out the guy who’s been archiving teen bedrooms on screen: