Review – Hocus Pocus 2

Long-awaited sequel provides fun family watch

After 29 years, the long-awaited “Hocus Pocus 2” was released this fall on Disney Plus. The film was reported to be the most-viewed film on Disney Plus in the first three days of its release, with good reason.

“Hocus Pocus 2” starts off in Salem, Mass., in 1653 with the Sanderson sisters receiving a magical book for their sixteenth birthday. Understanding the witches’ background was interesting since it wasn’t disclosed in the first movie. This really brought together the movie now that we know more about the sisters’ past. 

The story then jumps to present-day Salem and follows two teenage girls, Becca and Izzy, played by Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo. The two teenagers receive a black flame candle from magic shop owner Gilbert Richardson, played by Sam Richardson, for their annual birthday ritual on Halloween. 

After the black flame candle is lit, the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, return for their revenge. The two teenagers have to stop the witches from casting their immortality spell while also trying to make amends with their estranged friend Cassie, played by Lillia Buckingham. It was surprising to see that the plot was almost the same as the original movie, with the main characters in both movies bringing the witches back to Salem and then trying to stop them from casting their immortality spell. 

With the similarity of plots, it was nice to see some of the original characters back, including the Sanderson sisters and Billy Butcherson, played by Doug Jones. The returning actors did a nice job of playing their parts once again. It was a little disappointing not to see the three main characters (Max, Dani and Allison) from the first “Hocus Pocus,” but the new characters added enough variety to the movie leaving fewer repeats. Although the characters in the original “Hocus Pocus” did a great job, the actors from “Hocus Pocus 2” played their parts extremely well. 

One key difference in this movie is that we see different bonds between the characters. In the first movie, we saw more of a brother-sister bond between the two main characters, Max and Dani, while in the second we saw more of a friendship bond between Becca, Izzy and Cassie. The friendship bond makes the movie more relatable since not everyone watching has a sibling. Throughout the movie, we also saw a strong bond between the Sanderson sisters. This bond made the audience feel more sympathetic towards the witches, as we also didn’t really get to see this in the original movie. 

My main critique was how different it was compared to the original, despite having the same plot. In the original movie, the events made sense, but in the second there were a couple of random events that were confusing. If the black flame candle wasn’t the original, how did it bring back the witches? Why did Becca randomly get magical powers at the end? Also, like many sequels, in the original movie, the events were more surprising while in the second movie they were much more predictable. 

Although I thought the original “Hocus Pocus” was much better, however, “Hocus Pocus 2” is a family-friendly, nostalgic movie that is worth the watch this fall season.