2022. PG. 103 mins. Directed by Anne Fletcher.
Hocus Pocus opened
in 1993 and was a moderate hit at the box office. Over the years it has become
arguably one of the biggest cult classics off all time. From home video to
playing on TV to now on streaming this movie has garnered a huge success since its
release. This is a mainstay every Halloween for kids, families and adults that
grew up with the movie to watch so it was inevitable at some point we would
probably see a sequel. The original is a fun and entertaining Halloween movie
that doesn't break any new ground but is a good watch especially for
families. Hocus Pocus 2 stays consistent with what worked in
the first movie and is able to make a sequel that holds up well against its
This time around we follow three new girls:
Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham).
With them being into witchcraft, Becca and Izzy decide to check out the old
Sanderson house that tells the story of what happened to the Sanderson Sisters
29 years ago. The girls end up accidentally lighting the candle that can bring
the Sanderson Sisters back to life and we see Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah
(Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) all return to wreak havoc on the
town of Salem once again.
We are in the age of legacy sequels, so studios
are trying to see what IPs are popular enough to center another movie around.
Disney obviously has a lot of properties at their disposal and Hocus
Pocus made the most sense to give a sequel to after how big its
popularity has grown over the years. Anne Fletcher takes over as director here
and while not having the greatest track record in the past she does a good job
here putting together a solid follow up to the original movie.
The sets and costume designs here are great once
again. That was something that stood out in the original and they make it work
once again. There are some bad green screen sequences a few times here and
there and somehow, they look worse than in the first movie. Outside of the
green screen the rest of the effects work to varying degrees but nothing gets
worse than those green screen effects.
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy
Najimy all return as the Sanderson Sisters and once again they are all
fantastic. They are the driving force of the movie, and they are chewing the
scenery as best they can. It's great to see them easily step right back into
these roles like they never left, and they provide a lot of fun throughout the
movie. Outside of them the only other returning character is Billy Butcherson
who is again played by Doug Jones. He provides some good comedic moments just
as he did in the original. Sam Richardson joins the cast as Garrett, the guy
who runs the Sanderson Sister's house and he does a good job in his role.
Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo and Lilia Buckingham are welcome additions to
the cast. Their characters get a lot do and the actresses all work well
together to make this group a solid successor to the original trio.
Hocus Pocus 2 is an entertaining sequel that provides enough fan service
while also adding some new elements to the franchises' lore. There are some
questionable effects and some moments that don't work entirely. Some of the fan
service can be a little much at times but not so much to take you out of the
movie. It is a harmless watch that is sure to entertain kids and adults who
grew up with the original movie.