Sunday, October 9, 2022

Hocus Pocus 2 Review

Another glorious morning... makes me sick!  

It's already been 10 days since Hocus Pocus 2 premiered on Disney+ on September 30th.  Since then, it seems like it's all anyone is talking about online.  I have seen so many mixed reviews, and I haven't wanted to write anything sooner since I wanted everyone to have a chance to see it and make up their own mind.  But since it's been a week and a half now, I figured it was high time that I finally add my thoughts to the mix.

Honestly, I really loved the movie.  I thought it was funny, silly, just the right amount of spooky, and fun.  And before I say anything else, here's my warning about spoilers!!!  

Continue reading this post at your own risk...  

Don't say that I didn't warn you... 

Seriously, this is your last chance to turn back... 

Still here?  Ok, let's dive in!

I should start by letting you know that I've watched the movie 2.5 times now.  I watched it the night it came out, then watched the second part of it a second time when Eliot got home from work that night.  He was only able to watch part of it during his lunch break, so I agreed to watch again so he could finish it.  We watched it again this past Friday night, but I still haven't watched Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 back-to-back yet.

The second thing you should know is that I've been really excited about this ever since they first announced that a sequel was actually happening.  Hocus Pocus is a classic for us.  I was never really into it as a kid, but it's become a must watch for me as an adult.  I couldn't wait for the Sanderson sisters to return to Salem!

The thing that I was most excited for was the storyline of the movie.  Obviously, I had seen the trailer so I knew that a new group of teenagers were going to summon the Sanderson sisters using a black flame candle.  But I didn't know what the rest of the story would be.  I thought it was clever to show the flashback of the sisters when they were younger.  I think it set up the part about the reverend really well for when his descendants were living in today's Salem.  I also like how it included a young Billy Butcherson and included his backstory a little.  And the addition of Gilbert and how his story tied back to 29 years ago worked out well too.  I think that's the tie that really makes the second story make sense... and work with the first one.

The story was helped along with the music.  The music from this film reminded me a lot of the soundtrack from the first film.  And of course there were musical numbers.  I've seen a lot lot of people complain online that they were disappointed there were any original songs in the movie... but I disagree with that.  "I Put a Spell On You" was made iconic from Hocus Pocus, but it was originally sung back in 1966 by Screamin' Jay Hawkins.  Yes, Hocus Pocus is how I know the song too, but it wasn't an original song for the movie back in 1993.  I think Hocus Pocus 2 and the soundtrack were perfect, and a great nod to the original film.  Plus, it still had an iconic Sanderson performance, with an iconic song that you can bet people will be bopping along to.

Another part of live action movies that always catches my attention is the costumes.  I didn't really notice them much in this film, and I think that's probably a good thing.  In period pieces (Beauty and the Beast) or places far away (Aladdin), I always notice the clothing because it's so different from what everyone wears today.  Since the movie is set in 2022, the clothing of the majority of the characters is literally what we'd wear so it didn't jump out at me.  However the Sanderson sisters iconic costumes were just as amazing as always.  And Mother Witch had a great look too!

Another thing that impressed me was the Old Salem set.  I was very much paying attention to the details of Hocus Pocus 2 filming.  I'm actually in a Hocus Pocus fan Facebook group and people who were local to Rhode Island, where the sequel was filmed, where posting photos of the sets.  I was really interested in the Old Salem set since it was literally built in a giant field.  None of the houses were fully built, only their fronts and part of the side.  Then, they were artistically weathered to make them look old.  I couldn't wait to see how it actually looked on film and I was absolutely blown away at the before and after movie magic!

Something else that I was excited to see how it played out was the humor.  Hocus Pocus always makes me laugh, no matter how many times I've seen it.  There are so many funny and iconic lines in it.  I was really happy with how the humor was injected into this movie.  There were still some of those same funny lines and sayings from the first film, but there were a lot of other jokes as well.  I also think the second film did a great job of poking fun of the first one... like the kid asking Gilbert what a virgin was.  I think that's an awkward moment many have experienced after the first film's release so it was definitely relatable and amusing for those of us watching who are adults now.  

For me, some of the things that made me giggle the most were courtesy of the 29 year time jump between the two movies.  Obviously, none of us would have known what a "selfie" or a Roomba were back in the 90's.  Mary flying on her "broomies" was one of my favorite parts of the entire film.  And the Walgreen's scene with all of the beauty products also had me completely in stitches laughing.

At the end of the day, it's the characters that make the movie, and these ones didn't disappoint.  I was excited to see the Sanderson sisters again after 29 years.  I was also happy that they included Billy in the sequel.  I won't lie, like many I was also wondering what Max, Dani and Allison were up to nowadays, but I understand why they didn't include them.  These new characters were a great addition to the story.  Now that they have introduced them, there might be more places the storylines can go as well...?

I think there are definite possibilities.  If you saw the movie, you probably noticed that there was a bird just like Mother Witch following the girls as they walked off into the night.  I was excited about that addition thinking that there might be another part to come.  Then, I mindlessly had the credits on while I started doing something on my phone or computer.  But I'm glad that I didn't turn it off though... because, if you watch until the end, you saw another short scene.

Cobweb, Gilbert's black cat, jumps up to the bookshelf where there's a box that says B.F. Candle #2.  There's another black flame candle!  The Sanderson sisters could come back one more time even though it appeared they were gone for good!  Both of these subtle hints leave enough of a door open that Disney could potentially make another movie in the next few years.  And it seems as if the three Sanderson sisters themselves would be on board if the right script came along!

It appears that there are a lot of possibilities for the future, but right now I'm just really grateful.  Bette Midler is 76, Kathy Najimy is 65 and Sarah Jessica Parker is 57.  These three wonderful actresses came back to give us, the fans of the first film, one more chance to see the Sanderson sisters running amok in Salem.  They gave us all an incredible gift, and if this is the end of the films, it was a wonderful adventure.

But, I'm sure that Disney will come up with something, if not another full length film, then perhaps a show series.  Maybe they will go into more depth with the new coven of teenage witches in Salem.  Or, after the rave reviews from the sequel, maybe they'll go back in time again... because I have to say it... 

My favorite part of the entire movie was the beginning with the younger Sanderson sisters.  Those young actresses had their mannerisms down perfectly.  And I think that young Winnifred completely stole the show!  I've read so many comments online about people hoping that Disney makes a follow-up Disney+ series (or even a full movie) about them in their youth and how they started practicing magic.  I count myself with the masses, because I would love to watch something with the three of them!

Whatever Disney has in store for the future of the Hocus Pocus, I'm on board!

Overall, I think Hocus Pocus 2 was a wonderful sequel and a great nod to the first movie.  It was nostalgic for those of us who loved the first movie, and it was also a great film for today's generation being introduced to the Sanderson sisters.

If you haven't seen the new movie yet, give it a chance... and go into it with an open mind.  It will never be the original, but I really did enjoy it for everything it was.  And speaking for Eliot and me, watching Hocus Pocus 2 is going to become another annual Halloween season tradition in our house.  °o°

Photo Credit: All photos are from Disney's official Hocus Pocus Facebook page.

No comments:

Post a Comment