‘Hocus Pocus 2’ lacks magic

‘Hocus Pocus 2’ won’t be winning film of the year, but it’s perfect if you love cheesy fall flicks


Photo courtesy of Regisvinci

Bette Mindler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy bring viewers back to 1993 with a sequel to the nostalgic Halloween classic “Hocus Pocus.” Whether you were alive 23 years ago or not, “Hocus Pocus 2” wraps up the Sanderson Sisters’ storyline while putting another cheesy fall film on your watchlist.

The movie begins with the Sanderson Sisters’ backstory, beginning in 1653 Salem, Massachusetts. After Winnifred disobeys the church, she and her sisters are banished from the town and labeled as witches, most likely a reference to how the actual “witches” in Salem were accused based solely on their defiance to males in power. The rest of the Halloween flick is purely cheesy, so if you want to watch a movie that you can—or you must—watch without using your brain, this is a film for you. Becca (Whitney Peak) is the high school protagonist of the sequel and she—along with her best friend Izzy (Belissa Escobedo)—unintentionally summon the witches from their graves for the first time since 1993. These two girls, plus Gilbert (Sam Richardson), fight to contain the witches’ trouble-making magic after the strange circumstances of their reawakening.  

If the Hocus Pocus sequel did anything, it put me in the mood for Halloween. The score and writing were both lacking: the song that introduced the main protagonist was a tired, annoying choice that immediately turned me off, and the dialogue was written with total unawareness about teens’ actual vocabulary. However, the set design, costumes and makeup were well-done and at least partially redeemed the movie for me.

Seeing the original cast members play the Sanderson Sisters was a delightful surprise and possibly the best thing about this sequel. With Midler, Parker and Najimy resuming their places as the witches we all know and love, this movie brings a hint of nostalgia to viewers. As we grew up, the Sanderson Sisters did too, and their new-found maturity materializes in the end of the movie and manifests itself through the theme of sisterhood.

Unless watching Hocus Pocus is a part of your annual pre-Halloween ritual, I have a feeling you will find the sequel unbearably corny. Nonetheless, I’d recommend this movie to anyone ready to set their fall movie marathon off on a solid foot.