Hocus Pocus has been a beloved Halloween classic for the past 29 years. Initially released in 1993, fans have been hoping for a sequel for the longest time and have finally gotten their wish with Hocus Pocus 2, released just in time for the Halloween spirit.
Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker return as Winifred, Mary, and Sarah, our favourite antagonists, The Sanderson Sisters. Our new protagonists consist of Becca and Izzy, played by Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo respectively, who have a strange tradition of celebrating Becca’s birthday, spooky style, in their local town’s woods.
When The Sanderson Sisters are accidentally brought back (again), we are taken on a delightfully, cheeky, and fun journey where chaos ensues, complete with musical numbers on a Halloween night during a full moon once more. ‘The Witch Is Back’ is a great little cover and unique spin on Elton John song, ‘The Bitch Is Back’. Mind you, the girls sound incredible with their vocals that harmonise together perfectly.
Admittedly, I did not grow up with Hocus Pocus and I’m not sure how I missed it, as its right up my alley. So, prior to seeing the second film, I ended up watching the original, just to see what I was missing. Turns out, the first film is well worth raving about, and after diving into the Hocus Pocus world, I was excited for the sequel. I can’t even imagine how agonising it must’ve been to have waited 29 years for this new film, but honestly, the wait would have been absolutely worth it as Hocus Pocus 2 is solid entertainment.
Hocus Pocus 2 is camp and funny in all the right places, and is lovingly respectful to the original source. It helps that the original cast have returned to play their beloved characters, and one would think that they wouldn’t have returned if the script had not been good. If anything, watching the film and the end credits, I couldn’t help but think that the cast must’ve had so much fun filming this movie.
Hocus Pocus 2 also brings back the fun Disney villain vibes we’ve all grown to love, where the villains were still baddies, but were lovable in their own special way. There are a lot of modern takes on the Hocus Pocus sequel that are also very hilarious, but they’re not inserted for the sake of being funny. In fact, these small but thoughtful additions are clever and important to the film’s plot. In all credit to the film’s writing, the storyline is solid, entertaining, and never tries to dull things down for children to understand. It is honestly perfect for all ages and for fans new and old.
Visually impressive, Hocus Pocus 2 looks nostalgic with its cinematography, special effects, and the film would not be complete without its fantastic make-up and vibrant coloured costuming, making audiences feel that this witchy trio were never really gone. If anything, you could be fooled into thinking there hasn’t been an almost 30-year-gap between the two movies.
Overall, Hocus Pocus 2 is a real treat that you can watch again and again, every spooky season. If you haven’t seen the first movie, it’s never too late to start. That way, you can thoroughly enjoy this long-awaited sequel. And if you have seen the first movie, make for a movie night in to revisit The Sanderson Sisters, curled up on your couch, comfy with popcorn, yet still safe from being eaten by the witches. I promise, you’ll be thoroughly entertained by these bewitching icons.
Both Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 are available to watch on Disney+ now.