“Hocus Pocus 2” will put a spell on you


Matt Kennedy, Disney Enterprises

The young Sanderson sisters read their newly-gifted spell book in the Forbidden Woods. The movie stars Nina Kitchen as young Mary, Taylor Henderson as young Winifred and Juju Brener as young Sarah.

“Ichita copita melaka mystica…” The black flame candle is burning bright and the Sanderson sisters are back again.

To kick off fall, Disney+ released “Hocus Pocus 2” on Sept. 30. With an interesting new storyline that holds the perfect amount of nostalgia from the first movie, the film was just what I needed to get into the autumn mindset. While the movie is a sequel to the original “Hocus Pocus,” this modern take on the witchy world of the characters we’ve grown to love lives up to its predecessor’s reputation without fault.

Both films highlight the wickedly humorous nature of the fictional Sanderson sisters, a famous witch coven from 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. Their doltish remarks and silly nature contradict their actual powers, making the characters intriguing and fun to observe.

The beginning of the film displays a portion of the witches’ origin story. Because the child actors could capture the essence of the characters so well, the flashback was not at all corny and added depth and complexity to the setting.

The new witch coven consists of three 16-year-old girls: Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) who introduce a steady storyline rooted in friendship and problem solving. I really enjoyed watching how the three initially came together to help each other out, despite the way they felt about each other at the time. I could relate to the characters through the problems they encountered and the action-based dynamic of their friendship.

I noticed this film really made an effort to appeal to a variety of audiences. Regardless of if you’ve seen the original or not, the way that the sequel is produced makes it easy to understand what is going on without context. While the film incorporates nostalgic elements for the older crowd, it also makes a strong attempt to appeal to younger generations. 

This film is set in modern-day America, so there is a Walgreens, a high school and a town festival with games and treats. Small jokes here and there about cars and phones made me feel like I was a part of the jokes made in the movie. Disney did an excellent job hitting its target audience on the bullseye; be on the lookout for easter eggs of the first movie as you watch “Hocus Pocus 2.”

To fully enjoy this sequel, I recommend you watch the original movie first. Understanding certain jokes and phrases from the first movie made my screening experience feel personal and more enjoyable overall.

The way the film ends makes it feel like it would be odd if there was not a third film. Unfortunately, the time between the release of the first and second movies is nearly 30 years. I sure hope I don’t have to wait that long for a third installment. If the producers decide to make another movie, though, I’m confident that my fall-loving friends and I will be running “amok, amok, amok” with excitement.