Does Disney land the sequel?



potions being poured into a cauldron that says hocus pocus

Most sequels suck let’s be honest. Why add and mess up a story when you can keep the story the way it is? Well looks like Disney did it again with the new movie Hocus Pocus 2. Hocus Pocus 2 is a sequel to the 1993 movie Hocus Pocus. Keep in mind it took 29 years for Disney to want to make another movie and it shows. 

“It’s as if the director was trying to get viewers to say “hey remember this?” and  “Wow, I’ve seen that before!”

The movie is set in Modern day Salem and touches back in 1653 when the Sanderson sisters were young. The Movie starts with a flashback to the Sanderson sisters on Winifred’s 16th birthday. The Reverend of their town decides to banish Winifred and her sisters  because she doesn’t want to get married. The sisters run into the forest only to be stopped by the Mother Witch. She tells Winifred that she turns a witch on her 16th birthday and she gives them the spell book. The only thing Mother Witch tells them is to never perform the Magija Mistika spell which makes a witch all powerful.

Later in the storyline, the three witches burn the reverend’s house down for revenge and are then hanged. In present time, two young girls named Becca and Izzy bring back the Sanderson sisters with a black flame candle they got from a magic shop. The girls are tricked by Gilbert, the man who runs the shop. This is because he knew they were able to light the candle on their annual ritual. The movie continues with the two girls doing their best to save themselves from the witches while Gilbert is running doing the errands for the magija mistika spell. 

The actresses that play the witches, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, as well as Doug Jones, the actor of Billy Butcherson, are the only people from the original cast. The witches take the whole movie as their own. It’s easy to see they are all really enjoying themselves. Mary Sanderson still talks with her mouth to the side and the sisters do their Iconic walk! You can feel and see the mood that’s still there. The Sanderson sisters are just as horrific and wicked as before. However, you can see the lack of energy. The actresses are very old, Bette Midler is 76, and it is hard to keep up the excitement throughout the whole run time. The movie is very good at giving you that Halloween feeling that comes from watching the first Hocus Pocus. The scenery is dark and spooky, there are lots of Halloween traditions placed about, like carved pumpkins and poison apples. The biggest problem I see with this movie is that they really focus on all the spells and rituals. They bring out the occultism and witchcraft that is associated with witches. This was never big in the first Hocus Pocus and makes the movie not very innocent. When watching, it made me not only upset, but disappointed that they advertised this movie towards kids while subjecting them to black magic.

What could be seen as good or bad is Hocus Pocus 2 is really good at referencing and hinting at jokes from the first movie. It can be nice to see a joke that there are people watching the first movie in their living room or seeing the same Madonna costume that the mother wears in the first movie, but it just gets bland and boring after a while. The majority of the movie is just references and nothing really feels new or interesting. It’s as if the director was trying to get viewers to say “hey remember this?” and  “Wow, I’ve seen that before!”. I get it, I love the nostalgia and it is good to connect the two movies, it just doesn’t work for the main punchline.

  Another part of the movie that I do not think worked well is the main teenager characters. Becca and Izzy have an irritating relationship. The whole time Becca is complaining that their third friend, Cassie, is just too popular and old for them anymore. On the other hand, Izzy is just arguing with her and defending Cassie. The three of them have this abandoned friendship problem underneath the main plot of the witches. This problem is introduced in the beginning of the movie and dropped for the middle, and then only to be resolved at the end. Lastly, it was hard to watch every scene that Sarah was in. They completely messed up her poor eyebrows. Overall the makeup was well done, and all the hair and costumes were great, yet Sarah Sanderson’s brows look like someone took a crayon to her face! 

On a positive note, I thought that there were a sum of things that made the movie enjoyable. When the witches were at Walgreens, it was fairly funny that the sisters sat and ate all the makeup products believing that there were children’s souls in them to make them younger. The best character in the whole movie was the Mayor. You could actually bond and connect with him. First the Mayor is outraged that his daughter threw a house party without his supervision and all he wanted was a special caramel apple he waited hours in line for, only to have it taken from him! He just seemed the most rational and real feeling character throughout. Finally at the end of the movie, the three actresses of the witches sing the closing song, The Witches Are Back, which captures Hocus Pocus perfectly. 

Overall, Disney loves to make cash grab movies filled with nonsense just because they can and Hocus Pocus 2 is a good example of this. Sure it isn’t as bad as some of their other live action movies, however it doesn’t excuse the lack of care of what could have made a great comeback for the Sanderson sisters. I believe that if this was made when the actresses were younger and if the modern characters were written better and in a more enjoyable fashion, then it would have changed the movie entirely. I wouldn’t say this is a bad movie to see, it’s just not a movie I’d watch twice. If you like Hocus Pocus and don’t mind the more magic heavy content, then this would be an okay movie to add to your collection.