Spooktober: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is a guilty pleasure of mine, and with Halloween quickly approaching there is no better way to celebrate than a cheesy Disney movie.

The plot revolves around three witches wreaking havoc on Salem, however, three children and a cat stand in the way of stopping world domination.

With a very basic summary out of the way, the first thing I have to praise about this movie are the actors. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are amazing in their performances as the Sanderson Sisters. Each shine in their respective role and honestly, they’re the entire reason as to why you should watch the movie in the first place.

Every ounce of movement, of dialogue is precise and elevates the performances tenfold. Not to mention the costume design for the Sisters is just heavenly, each have their own distinct style and it somehow looks att pieced together and still messy at the same time.

Our actual heroes are far less exciting than the presence that is the Sanderson Sisters, but seeing the relationship between brother and sister duo Max and Dani warms your heart. The love story isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, that place still goes to Star Wars, but it’s definitely a very Disney relationship.

Which checks out considering that this is a Disney movie.

Speaking of witch, the house of mouse is notorious for their songs and ‘I Put a Spell on You’ is no different. You will catch me singing this song from the beginning of September to the beginning of November, with no hesitation.

The song is punchy and fun but holds a dangerous message and adds actual tension to the scene. The audience and the kids are clued into what’s happening but the Halloween guests and parents are oblivious and fall into the witches trap.

Parts of the movie do drag on a little bit, with the first initial death of the witches hitting quick but their second supposed death being excruciatingly slow and mundane. This leads me onto my main gripe with the movie: the ending.

The sisters are in a fight with the children, battling in a graveyard, their spell almost complete. But alas, Binx (the cat) and the kids easily put an end to it and the witches just poof into nothingness. I do like the twist that this frankenstein-esq monster that chases the kids throughout the movie is actually a good guy.

Hocus Pocus just has this tight grip on the Halloween industry, and I for one am not sorry about it. The movie follows any typical disney movie from the late 90s to the early 2000s, not very high stakes, a pointless love interest but amazing villains.

I’m happy to see the Sanderson Sisters returning to our screens in the sequel as well as some great Halloween costumes in the Disney parks. For those who haven’t seen it, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Clarabelle the Cow have dressed up as the sisters for the Disney Halloween Event: Oogie Boogie’s Halloween Bash, and they look great!

Although the story doesn’t hit as well, and the hero characters are very underwhelming, what sets this movie apart from others are the amazing performances by Parker, Najimy and Midler.

Hocus Pocus gets 2 out of 5 broomsticks from me.

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