Hocus Pocus 2 Review

A spell-tacular sequel to a ’90s cult classic


Morgan Tate

Grade: B (4/5)

In Hollywood’s current state, sequels seem to be all that’s being made. Endless, poor-quality sequels are made only to cash in on people’s nostalgia for the movies of their youth. 

Whenever a sequel is announced, people fear the film will ruin their favorite movie. However, unlike many of those sequels, “Hocus Pocus 2” does not ruin the ’90s cult classic. In fact, the witches are back and better than ever.

“Hocus Pocus 2,” tells the story of Becca and Izzy, two teenagers who have a birthday ritual in the woods around Salem. On Becca’s 16th birthday, they get tricked into lighting the black candle which sets the Sanderson sisters free to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of Salem while attempting to gain eternal youth.

The movie’s story is good, focusing on the power of the coven and how power is meant to be shared. The Sanderson sisters and their latest scheme to stay alive past sunrise is the best example of this. In fact, much like the original, the end brought me to tears. The weakness of the story is its lack of focus on the new protagonists of this installment. They don’t get enough depth and screen time for me to truly connect with them. If they were more fully developed, the ending would have been even more impactful. Normally, this would detract from my enjoyment of the film as a whole, but then the Sanderson sisters appear on the screen and I completely forget about my earlier complaints. 

The Sanderson sisters are the greatest strength of this movie. Much of this film feels like they put Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in costume and makeup, released them in a city and just filmed them. Every moment they’re on screen is comedy gold. The new actors also do a good job with their characters. Despite their weaker writing, they have a few nice moments. Overall, it just feels like everyone in this film had so much fun. 

Sequels normally feel stiff and lack respect for the original movie. “Hocus Pocus 2” is the exact opposite. You can feel the respect everyone in the process had for the original film. There are references to the original film, but they go in their own direction. It doesn’t feel like a bad copy of the original. The studio takes the original movie and adds depth to the witches and their lore, while also keeping the fun campy vibes intact. There’s no “Wicked” treatment where the sisters are absolved of their evil deeds and made into some kind of anti-hero. The witches are still evil, but given depth. The movie isn’t turned into a dark, gritty movie for the modern audience. It’s still fun. 

“Hocus Pocus 2”  is now streaming on Disney+ and I highly recommend checking it out.