Movie Review: A bunch of Hocus Pocus, 2

Almost 30 years after the original, Hocus Pocus 2 is making its debut on Disney+.

When it comes to Halloween, my typical go to movies to watch (other than typical horror movies) are the iconic Halloween Disney movies. These include, but are not limited to, Halloweentown, Twitches, The Nightmare Before Christmas and of course, Hocus Pocus

So, when I heard there was going to be a sequel to Hocus Pocus, I was exhilarated. 

In an attempt to get into the Halloween spirit, my best friend and I layed down in front of the television with our comfiest pajamas and softest blankets, watching the full hour and 43 minutes of Halloween action. In the end, my mind wasn’t blown but that doesn’t mean I was disappointed.

With the returning actors for the Sanderson sisters and Billy Butcherson, Disney+ came out with the long-awaited sequel to Hocus Pocus 29 years later.

In the newest addition, the most powerful coven gets brought back to life after two of the newest characters, Becca and Izzy, light the black flame candle unknowingly. Due to the sisters being gone for 29 years, throughout the film they learn about modern life similar to the feature, Dark Shadows. They are tricked into thinking lotion and skin care are treats with children’s souls mixed into them and they are enchanted by automatic doors. 

Although the comical sense of modernism is present, the main premise of this movie is that after getting brought back to life, the sisters, just like the original, want to eat as many children’s souls as possible to keep them young. This time though, Winifred decides she wants to be all-powerful, and the trio of Becca, Izzy and Cassie decide to stop them.

The actors playing the young Sanderson sisters in the very beginning were absolutely incredible with their ability to completely copy and paste the personalities of the true Sanderson’s. From their laughs to their dialect, everything was perfect.

An honorable mention of perfection would be the movement of Book, Billy Butcherson and, obviously, the Sanderson sisters. I truly enjoyed how Book’s eye moved similarly to the original and that nothing was changed drastically. Along with Billy Butcherson, all three Sanderson sisters have not changed, they are still the same characters from the first film. Those small details make the movie so much better than it would have been if any of the actors were replaced, or a major character’s personality was adjusted.

In addition, the newest song featured in the movie fit the scenes they were used in, quite literally, one way or another. There’s a lot of talk about the new musical aspects of this film, some of the internet saying that instead of “One Way or Another” by Blondie, the sisters should’ve done “I Put a Spell on You” again. Personally, I do not agree.

Although it would’ve been nice to have the original song in the sequel because of how iconic it is, I don’t think the film needed it.

The songs that they did use worked perfectly. Comparing the scenes from each movie, in the first movie, the Sanderson sisters sang “I Put a Spell on You” because they were making the parents dance all night long, so as to not worry about their children. On the contrary, the sequel presented  “One Way or Another”, since they were trying to make the citizens find the mayor with the lyrics “ I’m going to find you, I’m going to get you, get you, get you.” So, while I understand the want for the iconic Jalacy Hawkins song, the movie would not have the correct scene for it.

While I do think that they made the correct decisions with songs and their scene meaning, their costume choices weren’t as strong.  Both very cheesy and quality ruining, the costumes were nothing special. In this instance, I am talking about the Mother Witch from the very beginning that gave Winifred the book of spells. Of course, there has to be someone who hands down the book to the sisters, but I don’t think the costume had to be as dramatic as it was. The dramatic gray hair didn’t go well with the outfit and there are so many other witch outfits that would’ve fit the character much better and provided comical stereotypes. 

By the end of the film, the main teenager, Becca, became a witch, which felt incredibly unnecessary. The whole first movie was about 3 kids defeating the witches with no powers at all; why would they need Becca to be a witch if others were able to “defeat” the witches without any magical help? Not to mention, the Sanderson sister’s entrance after the black flame candle was lit, was so much more conspicuous than the first movie. 

This feature would be amazing if it were a stand-alone movie but being connected to the first Hocus Pocus doesn’t allow for it to stand out. The first film was too good for the sequel to have any of the spotlight.