Courtesy of Disney
Hocus Pocus 2 is the 2022 Disney + sequel to the classic 1993 Halloween film Hocus Pocus. The movie was directed by Anne Fletcher and stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Doug Jones from the previous film. The new stars are Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Sam Richardson, and Tony Hale. In this movie, the Sanderson sisters are brought back by a group of friends and once again try to get revenge on Salem and eat the souls of children. Hocus Pocus from 1993 has become a Halloween classic in the last twenty-nine years. It’s not the best film, but it’s become a must-watch every Halloween. Fans were excited to hear Disney was making a sequel. How does the sequel hold up?
Hocus Pocus 2 is fine, but a sequel that seems to play it safe and does nothing unique. It’s a sequel for a streaming service without some of the original cast that made the original film special. It’s not a bad movie. It was entertaining, and knew how to honor the nostalgia of Hocus Pocus. At the same time, it’s less rememberable than the original and has a weaker plot. It feels like the quality also dropped from the first film. Perhaps it’s because Hocus Pocus 2 is a Disney + exclusive film and not a theatrical film, so they didn’t put in as much work. It feels more like a Disney Channel movie in comparison, and it does not make the film bad, but not as good.
Easily the best part of the movie was the Sanderson Sisters. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy still have it 29 years later. They played the roles of Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson perfectly. It was also great to see Doug Jones return as Billy Butcherson, the zombie who helped stop the Sanderson sisters in Hocus Pocus. The new cast also did well, but won’t stand out as the other original cast members from the first film. It’s good that the film tried something new with the new group of characters instead of repeating the same thing from the previous film like some sequels do. The main protagonists are this group of friends that are estranged from another friend and like to have a ritual every Halloween.
All in all, Hocus Pocus 2 is a fun follow-up to Hocus Pocus, but plays it safe and doesn’t do anything special. It’s great to see the Sanderson Sisters again and the new characters are fine. At the same time, the story feels weaker and will not be a Halloween classic. The quality drop is highly noticeable. The movie was able to show viewers a different side of the Sanderson Sisters and will at least entertain both fans of the original film and new, younger viewers. While it’s nothing special, it’s a fun movie, and I recommend you check it out at least once.
Final Grade: C+
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