Review: Hocus Pocus 2


Ross Sneddon

Hocus Pocus 2 is a Disney+ Original movie that premiered on September 30th.

Max Spiegel, Staff Writer

After 29 years since the original “Hocus Pocus” aired, The Sanderson Sisters return for the long awaited sequel. Hocus Pocus 2 stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. Directed by Anne Fletcher, it tells the story of three high school students who bring back the Sanderson Sisters to the modern world and must stop them from wreaking havoc on the town of Salem. However, the question remains: does the sequel live up to the so-called “cult classic”?

I have a ton of memories watching the original Hocus Pocus during the Halloween season when I was younger. I’ve always enjoyed it, but I’m not someone who holds it as a cult classic or one of the greatest Halloween movies of all time. So when a sequel was announced years later, I was a little skeptical of how the film would turn out to be. Long delayed sequels don’t have the best reputation of being any good. “Zoolander 2”, “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Coming 2 America” are some more recent examples of sequels that failed to capture the magic of their predecessors. Nonetheless, I walked into this movie with an open mind, hoping it would be an entertaining follow up to the original. 

The best aspect of this movie is that it’s fun and breezy. In particular, it understands its target audience and captures what the first movie was all about. This film is campy, energetic and never takes itself too seriously. It stays true to the tone of the original, while also bringing it into the 21st century with technology and modern day quips. Another great aspect of the film was The Sanderson Sisters. Similar to the original, they stole every single scene and were hilarious from beginning to end. Better Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker all stepped back into their roles as if they never left. They looked like they were having so much fun playing these characters again all these years later. The special effects were of course great and with modern technology the visuals for this movie were much better than the original.

While I do think the movie did a good job capturing Halloween spirit, the plot itself lacked creativity. The story of yet another group of teenagers bringing back The Sanderson Sisters felt very redundant as it was much to similar to the original. Additionally, it felt very predictable, as I was able to piece the plot together from early on in the movie. I feel as if there were opportunities for a different storyline that weren’t taken advantage of. Furthermore, the new cast of characters, in particular the teenagers. were totally forgettable and bland. While their acting was necessarily bad, the way their characters were written made them very generic.

Overall, I would say that one’s enjoyment of this movie is built on how much nostalgia the viewer has for the first Hocus Pocus. The original wasn’t very successful at the box office or with critics when it first came out, however, it has built up a cult following ever since it was put on streaming services. I would say this movie is a must watch for fans of the original but everyone else can probably skip over it.