Halloween is the time for consuming a ridiculous amount of candy, dressing up as the scariest clown, and bingeing your favourite Halloween flick. While many classic Halloween films are worth the binge, the original Hocus Pocus, released in 1993, has been known for its comedic twist on spooky stereotypes.
On September 30, 2022, Hocus Pocus 2, the highly anticipated sequel to its original Halloween classic, was released on Disney+. Directed by Anne Fletcher, the three chaotic Sandersons reignite their iconic power trio. The film brings back the head witch, Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler) and her two sidekicks, Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy).
The family-favorite classic centres around a high school girl, Becca (Whitney Peak), who aspires to become a witch and unintentionally lights a magical, spirit-raising candle—“The Black Flame Candle.” Its flame summons the Sanderson sisters. Becca then sets off on a mission to stop the three witches from feeding on children and creating havoc in Salem. This sequel is a continuation of the first Hocus Pocus. Its opening scene begins with a flashback to 1653 and touches on the story of how the Sanderson sisters became independent witches. Moving into the present, the film bends time to tell a heartfelt story of a high school girl who—with help from her friends Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo)—navigates her newfound, inner witch strength and saves her town.
Aside from the return of the original actresses who play the legendary Sanderson sisters, the sequel features significant changes through its modern portrayal. Setting different themes, tones, and language, Hocus Pocus 2 targets a newer generation but does not forget about its original fans. Becca’s character caters more to gen-Z viewers, representing the struggles that come with high school friendships and finding one’s purpose. On the contrary, the Sanderson sisters represent the timelessness of lifelong relationships through a hit-home message: “you are never too old to believe in the impossible.” Through hilarious scenes—like that of the aged witches attempting to use Apple’s Siri—the film further blends old and young.
I, like many others, am a sucker for musicals. When I heard one of my favourite tunes playing, I screamed internally. I won’t spoil the name of the song, but I know many of you Blondie fans will not be disappointed to hear the modern rendition.
Who doesn’t love a good Halloween witch adaption? Although the original version will stay superior, Hocus Pocus 2 does not disappoint. If you need a chaotic, cute, family-friendly, and magical movie to watch this spooky season, this Sanderson sisters’ sequel is for you.