There is a story about a young virgin man who lit a black flamed candle and brought to life three of the most wicked witches, the Sanderson Sisters- Winnifred, Mary, and Sarah. On that fateful day, the whole town of Salem nearly lost its children’s lives. If the Sanderson Sisters succeeded on that night, no child was safe.
In 1993, one of the most iconic and cult classic Halloween movies appeared. At the time, I was five years old. I remember watching the movie and being entranced by the magic, the spookiness, and the singing. Besides the Green Power Ranger Tommy, one of my first TV crushes was Thackery Banks. Every Halloween from that year forward was going to have Hocus Pocus in my life.
Like many 90’s kids, when the announcement of a sequel came out, I got excited. I was going to see my three queens again. I was going to experience the magic.
I’m not going to say I was disappointed in the sequel. Here’s the thing, this is a Disney movie. It’s made for families and children. It’s not for the Millennial adult but the child they used to be. Therefore, it should be looked at in that frame.
What I like about Hocus Pocus 2
The Sanderson Sisters are obviously top on my list. The connection between the three women is still strong, and their comedic chemistry is on point. I definitely laughed many times over something Mary said, or Sarah did. Back in 1993, Sarah was my sister. I felt like this was me. Today, I still feel that way.
What is great about the sisters in the sequel is that we essentially see their origin story. We get to see the sisters before they are given the book. I genuinely loved that. Sure, it was cheesy with the random addition of a character, the Witch Mother, but you see the sisters being sisters, and that’s awesome.
I like the addition of the three teen girls who are the foils to the Sanderson Sisters. Their storyline isn’t that bad. There isn’t much explanation for one important detail. However, I feel that isn’t important for a movie like this. What children want is someone they can connect with, and I think the three teenagers are great for that.
Billy is back. How can we not love our zombie ex-lover?
The music is on point and has a flash mob! It was also fun to see little easter eggs of the first movie. Well done.
The book. He has a personality, and I love him. I want to cuddle the book.
No Thackery, but there is a black cat named Cobweb, and he’s precious. He doesn’t talk, but he’s pretty.
What I didn’t care for
Okay, so if I’m going to be critical, I didn’t care for the story as a whole. The dire straits didn’t seem too dire. In the original, all of the children were in trouble. In this sequel, the teenage girls were capable of keeping up with the Sanderson Sisters for the bulk of the movie. Honestly, the biggest worry for me was for the mayor. The poor guy.
What made the first movie so important was the family aspect. Thackery tried to save his sister and couldn’t. Max is trying to save his. There is a parallel to their stories.
The sequel, on the other hand, relied on the relationship between the two trios: the Sanderson Sisters and the teens. This is a good aspect, and I wouldn’t change it if I were to write the story on my own. However, I didn’t feel like there was anything at stake.
I would have had one of the teens be kidnapped, or maybe two. I would have set up their trio right at the beginning and seen it be pulled away instead of it already being fractured in the beginning. I would have loved to see the relationship of the sisters inspire the remaining teen to get her friend group back. In the process, I would want to see the bond of the sisters be even shakier. You see little bits of that, but there wasn’t enough for me.
Here’s the thing, the sequel will not live up to the original. How could it? The original is an important piece of the zeitgeist that is Millennial. Every ’90s kid can tell you who their favorite character was. They will be able to tell you which sister is more their speed. Just like they will be able to tell you which Hogwarts house they are in. I’m not sure this would be the case for the sequel.
That said, the sequel opened up a new world and concept. There is magic. There are other witches in this world. The book might not be as evil as I originally thought. The writers of the sequel have initiated worldbuilding instead of staying within the confines of our modern world. That is both intriguing and horrifying. I want to see what will happen.
And something is bound to happen because if you watched the after-credits scene, you would know that there is another candle waiting to be lit.
All in all, I would rewatch this movie. I would add it with the first, and I would watch them in a Hocus Pocus marathon. It’s not the best sequel, but it could have been worse. I’m more excited to see what they plan to do for the future of this world they’ve begun to build, and I’m excited to see what the children of today, thirty years from now, would say when they remember sitting with their family watching Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+.
Comment below what you thought about the movie. Who is your sister? What’s your Hogwarts house? Mine is still Sarah Sanderson, and I’m a Hufflepuff. Boy, if that doesn’t say it all. Thank you for reading my first movie review. I may do more in the future. We’ll see. But, for now, I think I’m going on Amazon and buying myself Winnifred’s book.