“Hocus Pocus 2” offers nostalgic Halloween frights

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

The iconic spell-loving, children’s life-sucking and hilariously evil trio of Sanderson sisters returned to screens on Sept. 30. “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+ is a modern-day sequel to the 1993 fan-favorite film and has sparked major excitement among cult followers.

The movie begins with a flashback to the Sanderson sisters as children in Salem, offering insight into what their childhood looked like and showing how their childhood personalities mirrored their adult ones.

Fast forward to the current day and new characters are introduced into the storyline. The movie follows Cassie, Becca and Izzy, a trio of teenage girls who are experiencing friendship struggles. While Cassie ends up throwing a Halloween party, Becca and Izzy unknowingly conjure back the Sanderson sisters in their annual witchcraft birthday celebration.

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

Overall, the new characters did not add much to the franchise and were bland. I was not impressed with the acting — it felt cheesy and less than convincing. The real stars were the original Sanderson sisters.

On a positive note, the film featured two musical numbers by the sisters including “One Way or Another” by Blondie, which was performed on a stage that provided major deja vu to when they sang at the original movie’s Halloween party.

The best part of Hocus Pocus 2 was by far the humorous behaviors exhibited by the sisters as they tried to navigate a modern-day Walgreens and Amazon Alexa. Even if someone was unfamiliar with the characters prior to watching the film, I think they would get a kick out of the trio’s oblivion by 2022. Watching Kathy Najimy utilize self-cleaning vacuums in place of a flying broomstick was the icing on the cake.

At times, the film was not as engaging. While there were action-packed moments of magic fights and problem solving, it dragged at times.

Overall, I think this movie is enjoyable for all ages. If you liked the first Hocus Pocus, you’ll enjoy the film more, but you don’t need to watch the first movie to understand or enjoy the second film. If you’re looking to fill your soul with some Halloween magic, I definitely recommend watching this movie for some spooktastic vibes.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars