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Hocus Pocus Two Critique

Olivia Melillo | Contributing Writer


Sarah Jessica Parker and her Sanderson sisters are back in action for Hocus Pocus 2, the sequel to the 1993 movie. The film was released September 30th, 2022, nearly 30 years after the original movie. Shortly after its release, the Disney Plus sequel knocked Disney Originals Frozen 2 and Encanto out of their previously held record positions. It also broke the record for most minutes watched in its debut weekend. A lot of people saw this movie as the best sequel to any movie made because of its change in characters to fit the modern-day audience. However, other fans say it is an abomination to movie sequels, lacking in originality and falling short of the audience expectations.

Let's recap: the original Hocus Pocus (1993) tells the story of a teenage boy named Max Dennison who after moving to Salem, MA explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani and their new friend, Allison. After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches who used to live in the house, by lighting a candle. Now, with the help of a magical cat, and a zombie with his mouth sewn shut, the kids must steal the witches' book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal and taking over the world.

Plot twist? In Hocus Pocus 2, three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking destruction on the world. The creators perceive them as idiots because of their lack of understanding for the 21st century even though they had been dead for three decades. It will take a lot of obstacles and challenges but eventually the three girls will defeat the witches, discovering a power they did not know they had.

There is more of a twist because of the modern-day action they put in throughout the movie, making it an unexpected plot than the original. The only original characters they kept were the Sanderson sisters and Billy Butcherson as the zombie and Winefred, the eldest sister's lover. Let alone the special effects did not do the movie justice. The effects with the magic and the flying were better done in the original movie before technology, making it look more realistic in the first movie.

Though the characters are played very well, the plotline is also a little confusing and not too much the same or different than the original movie. There are different characters and the whole movie became more modernized to fill the sensational satisfaction of the 21st century audience. The iconic song "I Put a Spell on You" in the original movie was replaced by a song older than the original movie “One Way or Another” to be more relatable to the 21st century audience, considering it has been covered by so many modern-day bands this generation knows.

One last thing that made this movie a disgrace was the plotline. It was appreciated that they started the movie with a back story of the sisters and how they became evil. It helped audiences to understand what was happening throughout the movie. However, because they were all new characters it was confusing to understand where they came from and what was happening. The original Hocus Pocus had less musical numbers than the sequel.

Although it was a terrible movie, there were some good parts to it. The original was significantly better and would have been better off without a sequel. Let’s be honest: Hocus Pocus 2 was an abomination to movie sequels and should not have been produced.

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