A notable comeback

‘Hocus Pocus’ franchise makes a comeback almost 30 years later with a new movie


Screenshot captured from the official Hocus Pocus 2 trailer

After almost 30 years, “Hocus Pocus” makes a comeback with a sequel of the first movie. This nostalgic movie stars iconic actresses Bette Midler (Winifred), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah) and Kathy Najimy (Mary) as the Sanderson sisters. The three of them delivered impeccable performances while playing a wicked witch whose personality is often unique. Although the first movie did not skyrocket in terms of box office sales, “Hocus Pocus” remains a Halloween classic. Continuing their legacy in being a comical and memorable Halloween movie, “Hocus Pocus 2” is now available on Disney+.

The first movie storyline starts 300 years ago in Salem, Massachusetts. Three witches known as the “Sanderson sisters” were executed for performing dark magic that exploits a child’s life to make themselves appear youthful and beautiful. Unfortunately, the sisters fabricated a spell where if a virgin lit the black candle, they’ll be brought back to life. A new teenage boy in town named Max Dennison, played by Omri Katz, unknowingly lit the candle, and the troubles of the Sanderson sisters continued. Fortunately, before the witches could exploit more children, Max succeeded in making the sisters disappear from their life.

 In Hocus Pocus 2, the Sanderson sisters were once again resurrected by a virgin teenage girl. This time, the sisters are more eager than ever to accomplish their mission of becoming beautiful and living eternal life. Because the setting of the story takes place in 2022, the odds were not in favor of the sisters. Everything was different. People, buildings and places changed immensely during the 300 years they were gone. This change in settings also played a big role in the humorous aspect of the movie. The Sandersons sisters are like newborn babies in this new setting, and it’s hilarious when watching them figure out their surroundings. Knowing that the Sanderson sisters were the most powerful coven or crowd of witches in history, would a teenager and her friends be able to defeat such power even if the odds are in their favor?

While keeping in mind that both movies are PG-13, it definitely has all things necessary to reach it’s guided audience. Lessons of loving one’s family while they’re still alive and appreciating one’s friends were conveyed in both movies. Watching movies for entertainment is satisfactory, but children learning good virtues and morals to take into their lives is important for a PG-13 movie. Another thing the movie carries out flawlessly is how appropriate the level of horror the movie is for children. 

Despite the movie showcasing humorous scenes and characters, it may not be suitable for older audiences. The movie falls under the genre of fantasy. While fantasy films are centralized around unimaginable possibilities, the movie takes it to another level. A particular scene that exemplifies this is when one of the witches could not find a broom to fly with, so she used a robotic vacuum instead. Some might find the overly dramatized movie a bit cringy.

Another minor problem noticed in the movie is how similar the two movies are. Because the movies were too similar in plots, there were zero to little elements of surprise. There were barely any new magic or tricks added in the movie. Fans who anticipated an improvement from the old-fashioned movie may be a little disappointed as the second movie still carried that tradition.

Although not all cast members of the original movie made an appearance in the sequel, it is extraordinary and hard to believe that the actresses who played the Sanderson sisters would come together after 29 years and still express the same ambience that they did years ago.  

This beloved Halloween classic has been replayed every year during spooky season, and now viewers have another classic to replace it with.