Hocus pocus: the witches are back

Jennifer Fain, Copy Editor

Official movie teaser poster from Disney.

“Hocus Pocus 2”is back nearly 30 years later, and with its return comes the legendary Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker.) With the release of the new movie comes new heroes. Salem teens, Becca and Izzy (Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo) who unknowingly bring the sisters back to life.  

The duo is introduced to the sisters when they light the black flame candle on Halloween night, much like in the original film. However, unlike the original 1993 cult classic, we get to see more into the sister’s history. Through this backstory, we learn how the sisters gained their powers. We also learn the origin story of Billy.  

From the start, the viewer is made to bond with the sisters and root for them as their village is trying to tear them apart from each other. This theme continues until the film’s end, where we see Winifred choose her sister over eternal life and ultimate power.  

This film does take on a new age theme of girl power and the importance of relationships with our fellow girls, whether sister or friend. We see this mirrored in the Salem teen heroes we follow as they fight to stop the sisters and repair their friendship.  

The film’s overall themes and style seem directed more towards kids today. It did not give me the feeling that I was watching a movie from childhood. The humor and lightheartedness felt unfamiliar, as I remember finding the original “Hocus Pocus” a little spookier. However, I was also a child, so maybe I would need a more youthful opinion here.  

The film makes plenty of callbacks to the 1993 version through costumes, cats, and even playing a part of the film on a TV as the sisters pass by. However, I did not find myself missing the original film but rather enjoying the references and the new movie for what it was. Although, I will say I was hoping to see some of the old cast, such as Max and Dani. 

Ultimately, we are left with the feeling that the franchise isn’t over. We may see more from the new characters we meet in this film as Becca gains her powers towards the film’s end. 

If you are a fellow “Hocus Pocus” lover, go in with an open mind and know you may not be the targeted demographic. But I suggest enjoying it for what it is.