Review: Hocus Pocus 2

Year: 2022

Runtime: 96 minutes

Director: Anne Fletcher

Writers: Jen D’Angelo, David Kirschner (story), Blake Harris, based on characters created by Mick Garris and David Kirschner

Actors: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Tony Hale, Hannah Waddingham

By Rosa Parra

Every Halloween there’s a list of films that we must all watch as a tradition. One of them is “Hocus Pocus” (1993). Throughout the years, its become a classic and because of its status in pop culture, I was slightly nervous about the sequel announcement. “Hocus Pocus 2” (2022) is directed by Anne Fletcher and it follows the return of the Sanderson sisters to modern-day Salem.

The film opens with the origin story of how the Sanderson sisters became witches. We’re taken to their childhood and the circumstances responsible for the sisters fleeing into the woods where they encounter the witch. First off, my utmost respect to the casting director. These three girls depicting the sisters were perfect casting. And secondly, I wouldn’t mind seeing an entire film with the young Sanderson sisters. 

Modern-day Salem introduces us to Becca (Whitney Peak), who is about to celebrate her 16th birthday by going into the woods to do magic spells (I’m sure you can guess where this leads us). Gilbert (Sam Richardson) (the town’s magic historian & store owner) gives Becca a candle for her birthday and suggests she use it for her annual tradition. Since all ingredients combine on this perfect night, the witches are back! And they return with an entertaining musical number. 

This film manages to maintain the campiness of the first film and Midler, Parker and Najimy don’t lose one step!

This film manages to maintain the campiness of the first film and Midler, Parker and Najimy don’t lose one step! Their dynamic is still present. The acting is great overall! Everyone has perfect comedic timing. I was delightfully surprised by the successful incorporation of modern scenarios, things, and callbacks of the original film. 

The film has a heart and it’s even emotionally moving. It emphasizes the importance of friendship and familial bonds. In the third act, there’s a scene with the sisters that was a tear duct activator. And the scene is further heartfelt due to Bette Midler’s performance. There’s also a reminder about the importance of storytelling and how it can be modified depending on whose story is being passed down and with what intention. 

Overall, “Hocus Pocus 2” is the perfect sequel to the classic film. With a little more emotional stakes, this movie is bound to follow the first film by becoming a Halloween season must watch. Oh, by the way, stay for the mid and post-credit scenes.  

Now streaming on Disney+watch the official trailer here, courtesy of YouTube: Hocus Pocus 2 | Official Trailer | Disney+ – YouTube

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