Considering the fan reaction to the news of Hocus Pocus 2, it’s clear there was a real desire for a sequel to the 1993 classic Halloween movie. Although I don’t like admitting this but the Sanderson Sisters probably should have stayed dead, instead they came back for a sequel that’s a heavy dose of nostalgia and not much else.

On Halloween night, during a full moon, two young women accidently bring back the Sanderson Sisters (again) to modern day Salem. They now need to find a way to stop the wicked witches before they feed on children and get revenge on the town of Salem. Yes that all sounds familiar doesn’t it? Well it should, because rather than try something new with Hocus Pocus it’s the same idea done again only worse.

Despite a very promising opening sequence featuring the Sanderson Sisters as children, Hocus Pocus 2 descends into an unfunny, heartless sequel that only reminds you at how much better the first one is, and that wasn’t exactly a masterpiece to begin with. It really is the exact same thing done again only with enough unfunny jokes stuffed into it you’ll either die of cringe or your eyes will roll into the back of your head and stay there forever. With the original there was at least the feeling that the Sanderson Sisters were a genuine threat to people but with Hocus Pocus 2 there’s none of that. They’re just blundering their way through Salem while not understanding how the modern world works….hilarious.

Sure it’s great they got most of the original cast back, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker. They’re all back including the fabulous Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson. Also added to the cast is Hannah Waddingham (yes you do know who she is, look her up) who I have to say was criminally underused. You don’t get Hannah Waddingham to only use her for five minutes. What a missed opportunity. The younger actors cast to play Winne, Sarah and Mary in Salem were spot on, that whole sequence was the best thing about this sequel and I probably would have enjoyed it if the whole film was like that. Why do a sequel if it’s just the same idea redone badly when a perfectly good origin story was right there? Madness, and another missed opportunity.

Hocus Pocus 2 completely relies on nostalgia and sure look it worked, I ended up watching it, and nostalgia always sells. But the story is weak, the jokes don’t land and the musical numbers certainly don’t work. Even with all that being said, the original Hocus Pocus was financially a flop at the box office when it first opened (seriously who decided to release it during the Summer?). It only gained its popular cult status afterwards and myself and many of you probably watched it every Halloween on TV for years. For that reason we all have fond memories of Hocus Pocus so who’s to say how popular this sequel will be in twenty years. The younger generation will probably enjoy it, and if it does indeed do well with streaming viewers don’t be surprised if yet another sequel appears.

There’s plenty of decent horror movies to indulge on this Halloween but if you need something a little less scary then you might be better off with the original Hocus Pocus instead. Hocus Pocus 2 is recommended for anyone looking to entertain their kids with a Halloween movie that isn’t going to give them any nightmares.


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