They’re Back, Witches

Review over “Hocus Pocus 2”

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Photo Courtesy of Ava Callaway

The sequel to the most beloved Halloween movie. “Hocus Pocus,” directed by Kenny Ortega, was released on Sept. 30 on Disney +. The movie follows the three most iconic witches in movie history, The Sanderson Sisters, along with three other younger high school girls. The girls race to prevent the witches from wreaking havoc across Salem while also discovering some magic within themselves.

Ava Callaway, Reporter

***WARNING POTENTIAL SPOILERS***

A haunting sequel to the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus” was more or less, timeless after thirty long years. The movie follows the three most iconic witches in movie history, The Sanderson Sisters, along with three other younger high school girls. As the girls hassle around town to prevent the witches from wreaking havoc across Salem, they also discover magic within themselves. 

The storyline follows two young women who accidentally bring back the three sisters and must figure out how to protect modern-day Salem from child-hungry witches. The movie opens with the younger version of the witches and how they became cast out of their home and decided they could live in the Forbidden Forest. This ominous tone quickly fades as the witches suddenly break into song and dance in the middle of the woods, which certainly did not match the tone of the 1993 film. The main thing that is different from the previous movie is the tone. There were a few laughs here and there in the first one, but in this one, it was dark and serious most of the time. I liked how the first movie was more like a horror movie rather than a family-friendly Halloween movie like the second one. 

A lot of the old characters didn’t make a return in the sequel like Max, Allison and Dani, which I know everyone was looking forward to. As we know, most sequels to big movie franchises almost never live up to the first movie and I think that’s what happened here. I just wish we could have had a comeback for the fan-favorite characters but alas we were let down, once again. Along with the middle school-level acting from the supporting actors, the storyline was weak and seemed unfinished. Not to mention, all of the product placement that was painfully obvious.

While other viewers have set opinions on the film, I still think that it’s just a letdown. Many think there should never have been a sequel because the movie tries too hard to keep the cherished elements from the original movie. 

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make a sequel to an iconic movie like “Hocus pocus” especially after almost thirty years. I do agree that the storyline could be more developed however, I think the acting from the main three actresses is pretty good considering these actors haven’t played their characters in almost 30 years. I did love how they portrayed the infamous Book. Who knew so much emotion could be expressed with just one eye?

Towards the end of the movie, one of the younger girls discovers she has magical powers that shield her and her friends from the witches’ spells. As the scene progresses, we see a new side to one of the sisters Winifred who has always been cold and headstrong. As her two other sisters are disappearing, she experiences grief that she will never see them again. The loss she experiences changes her mindset on the magic book and her powers. “Oh, not my sisters. My beloved, infuriating sisters? Why they were my kin. Of course, I was the pretty one.” She said after they had disappeared. 

In comparison to the first movie, I would say it lacked certain elements that were expected for such an iconic Halloween movie. While taking that into account that this was a sequel that was made almost thirty years after the original is awe-inspiring. With no bias from the first movie, I would say it was just cute. I wouldn’t watch it again and in my opinion, this movie is strictly for Halloween only. Parents, if you are looking for a family-friendly Halloween movie that won’t give your kids nightmares, this is the movie for you. 

Official rating: 6/10