By Taylor Rice
On September 30th, 2022 our favorite witches once again made an appearance on our magic, glowing, handheld boxes. Hocus Pocus 2 brings out the enjoyment of the first 1993 film; tapping into fans’ nostalgia with many subtly hinted at references.
In the film, newly turned 16 year old Becca gets tricked into summoning the Sanderson sisters using a recreation of the Black Flame Candle. Throughout the movie, we watch as she discovers her own powers and tries to outwit the sisters at their own game.
While the plot sounds cheesy, the movie is actually very entertaining. It follows the vibes and format of the original Hocus Pocus, despite the modern setting and
devices, giving a 90’s movie type feel. We’re hit hard by the nostalgia of the first movie when the Sanderson sisters burst out into song the minute they’re summoned. It gives out “I put a spell on you” vibes.
The cast of the movie is also phenomenal. While the Sanderson sisters are no longer played by their original actors, the lovable villains are still pulled off seamlessly by Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson), Bette Midler (Winifred Sanderson), and Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson). Whitney Peak, best known for her work in Molly’s Game and her two season role in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, plays Becca, our leading lady.
While the special effects of the movie are still cheesy, they’ve improved greatly from 1993. Book, yes that is the actual name of the book in the movie, actually looks like he’s floating. The magic used also appears more “realistic”.
My personal favorite part of this movie is when another call back to the first movie was made. The Sanderson sisters need to fly to go after their main objective. Winnie immediately finds an actual broom and Sarah, once again, gets a mop. Winnie however got a different item. In the 1993 film, Winnie ended up riding on a vacuum cleaner. In this 2022 version, she finds a pair of Roomba vacuum cleaners and flies using them. The Roombas both act like dogs, and are just a cute addition to the movie.
Overall, Hocus Pocus 2 is certainly worth the watch. This movie is great for both new and returning audiences. Whether or not you’ve watched the first movie or not, there’s enough context and brand new context for everybody to know what’s going on. It’s definitely another great Halloween movie, competing with its predecessor.