Nearly 30 years after Disney gave us a genuine, traditional family Halloween flick, they made the decision to embrace the cult classic and create a new experience. They aimed for something that would accompany their past effort and introduce a new audience to a best-selling franchise.
‘Hocus Pocus 2’ continues the story of the Sanderson Sisters, a small Coven of witches who were persecuted over a hundred years ago for murdering a young girl. Due to a certain ritual being performed by modern-day school girls interested in the occult, they are resurrected on Halloween night and they continue their search for a young soul to consume to re-attain immortality. It’s the same basic idea of the first, but updated.
This film has a lot of great things going for it, as well as a fair share of problems. For the good: there’s likeable characters, a fun setting, great production design, and a great sense of charm that is very reminiscent of the original. The sisters reprise their roles as the main witches, and we even have an intro-flashback that helps show us how we even got to this place. Its quite fun, silly, and puts a goofy smile on your face.
However, it would be wrong to say it’s perfect. There’s no sense of danger in this one like there was in the other. The sisters get a LOT more camera time, which I found made it harder to stay in love with them. It often feels like the actors are improvising and just being let loose to appease nostalgia, which gets a bit ‘much’ when they all begin bumbling all over each other in multiple conversations. Some of the humor comes off cringey, and the overall tone here almost feels childish. Yes, it’s a kids film by definition, but the first one atleast felt like a mature children’s film with real stakes and tone, whereas this one feels like an immature film targeted for nostalgic parents – arguably to the point of almost undermining the audience.
But, I do feel it’s an experience where the pleasantries of it override the flaws. I had a lot of fun and rather enjoyed it. It’s worth a watch for both old fans and new fans, and I feel the studio could have easily done a much worse job.
“Hocus Pocus 2” is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+.
‘Til Next Time,
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