Enchanting and Tear Worthy – A Review of Hocus Pocus 2

By Crystal P. Gordon

Hocus Pocus is a Halloween classic and many fans were delighted when they heard a sequel would soon be available on Disney Plus. Hocus Pocus 2 leaves people in awe as the original actresses of the Sanderson Sisters: Winnie (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) make their great comeback on screen.  They cast their enchanting spells and serenade our ears with hypnotic catchy songs that put the Salem residents in a trance while getting the viewers in the Halloween spirit.

Hocus Pocus 2 is about two high school best friends that are interested in magic. They unintentionally summon the iconic Sanderson Sisters to modern-day Salem. It’s been 29 years since a virgin ignited the black-flame candle and resurrected the 17th-century Sanderson Sisters, who are looking for revenge. In Hocus Pocus, the Sandersons wanted to find more children to steal their life force away so they could regain life and vitality. This time, their goal is to cast a potent spell called Magicæ Maxima that would make them the most powerful witches in the world. 

In their way are three young women, Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo), as well as their somewhat estranged friend, Cassie (Lilia Buckingham), to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the town of Salem before dawn on Hallows Eve, according to the blurb on the Disney+ website. 

The movie was entertaining to watch and an absolute masterpiece. It was enjoyable to compare and contrast the two films and identify the details sprinkled throughout the sequel. However, it was a bit odd that the original cast and main protagonists Max (Omri Katz), Dani (Thora Birch) and Allision (Vinessa Shaw) from the prequel did not appear in the sequel at all. 

Considering the movies are 29 years apart, it is interesting to see the different film styles and how faithful the sequel was to the original. It maintains the integrity of what made the original plot so appealing while also adding depth to the plot and characters with the bittersweet origin story of the Sanderson sisters. 

The movie is consistent with the personalities of recurring characters and intricate costumes. The production value was improved considerably. It also introduces the new characters without them feeling forced or awkward. The cinematography, visual effects and soundtrack were excellent. 

Hocus Pocus 2 is very humourous, full of suspense and has some heart-wrenching moments. The ending is tear-worthy like the original and should be added to your watch list this Halloween season.

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