October brings the season of the witch, which for decades since 1993 means watching Hocus Pocus. Fans seek shopping sites selling renditions of movie character’s outfits; you can even find directions to create your own Hocus Pocus charcuterie plate for parties. More importantly for fans, the sequel Hocus Pocus II just started streaming on Disney+. A plus, not minus for fans because even though the return shares the original’s curse of a slow, simplistic story, it brings back the movie’s magic: three oddball witches in the form of Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Playing the Sanderson Sisters, the three once again resurrect from the old Salem, Massachusetts to the current one, bent on wreaking havoc and revenge. Make sense? Of course not! Wrapped in a package that includes teenagers, the Hocus Pocus movies please families, no matter what film critics say. The first transformed from a Rotten Tomatoes green splat bomb to an annual family tradition adored by millions. Now, Disney responds with a highly anticipated cast reunion that allows for a happy twist on Elton John lyrics when the trio sing “The Withes are Back.”
Overall, the film remains true to its source—juvenile but fun. Another returning highlight comes with the story’s zombie. Make up covers but never intrudes on the nimble, ambling body movements of Doug Jones, known (but not necessarily recognizable as) the creature in The Shape of Water. Still, the women cast the biggest spell, malfunctioning at times, but entrancing when they mix comedy and song