Hocus Pocus 2 Review
In July 1993, Disney released a comedic film named Hocus Pocus. Situated in Salem, the film told the story of the Sanderson Sisters, three Witches who returned from the grave to seek revenge on Salem. Given how it was a Disney film, though, Hocus Pocus was less scary and more funny. The movie wound up failing at the box office, and I’m sure that had nothing to do with the fact that Disney released it in the Summer rather than around Halloween.
Despite the critics ripping on it, though, time, and fans, proved the critics wrong. Disney started running it on TV every year in October, and the next thing we know, it’s a major hit. Everyone loves the Sanderson Sisters and wants to see more of them! Thus, after years of asking and asking, Disney gave the fans what they wanted, Hocus Pocus 2.
They also made sure to release it around Halloween this time.
The Witches are Back!
It’s been 29 years since the events of Hocus Pocus that saw the return of the Sanderson Sisters. Since that day, though, they’ve become more famous than ever. Now, in the year 2022, a trio of teenage girls, estranged by the pressures of high school, gather together to conduct their own witchly spell in the forests of Salem. Little do they know, but their actions end up bringing the Sanderson Sisters back! Again! Now, the Sisters seek to become more powerful than ever and take their ultimate revenge on the town that shunned them!
And it is hilarious!!
Now, I’ll confess: I haven’t seen the original film in its entirety; I did see a large chunk of it at a party once, but that’s about it. However, what I did see was enough to let me know that when it comes to being hammy, the Sanderson Sisters have few equals. They’re large and in charge with their personalities, and when they show up onscreen, you can’t help but pay attention to what they’re saying and doing. It’s clear that even after all these years, Bette Mildler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Kajimy give their all returning to the role as the witchy trio. I couldn’t look away from them, not even for a second; they haven’t changed at all!
Some fans have joked that the Sanderson Sisters’ actresses haven’t aged a day in the last 30 years, and I love it.
The Sanderson Sisters are Cool Now
What has, changed, though, is evident from the start: our cultural perception of magic and witches. Back in 1993, seeing people on the streets saying that they wanted to be witches would be enough to make people look at you like you were weird, dangerous, maybe even both. In recent years, though, it seems like society’s had this epiphany. Like, many people collectively said, “you know what? This magic and witchcraft stuff is cool! Let’s do more of that!” In other words, we’ve become more accepting of the weird and supernatural, as though we wish it was real.
Nowhere is this seen better than in how the townspeople of Salem treat the Sanderson Sisters. The first time around, they would’ve seen them as weird or just really into their characters. Several times in the film, though, the Sisters get stopped by fans wanting to get selfies or autographs. They love them!
All of this sells the big point the film’s trying to make, though: just because something’s weird or different doesn’t make it evil. As one of the adults in the film puts it, the Sandersons weren’t bad, just misunderstood in their time. While it’s true they were, the Sanderson Sisters are proud of how bad they are. However, if they’d been born in the modern-day, people might have accepted them more than the narrow-minded Puritans of old Salem.
Good Dynamic With the Modern-Day Heroes
Of course, the Sanderson Sisters find themselves contrasted by their modern-day counterparts of Becca, Izzy, and Cassie, three childhood friends who have started drifting apart due to the curse of all teenagers: bad communication. Much of the conflict between them comes from the fact that Cassie’s newer group of friends aren’t very nice to Becca and Izzy, reflecting how people can still be outcast today. That, and Cassie’s boyfriend is an idiot that doesn’t even realize he’s being mean to them.
I won’t go into how the film ends or the teens of today reconcile, but the whole moral comes down to always having the backs of the people you care most about. Because without them, you’re nothing.
I Can See Why Fans Wanted Hocus Pocus 2 So Bad
Hocus Pocus 2 is, by far, not the best Halloween film I’ve ever seen, nor is it the funniest. However, it is still pretty darn funny. I loved watching it, and I can now see why the original became such a cult hit. This might have to be added to my list of things to watch every Halloween.