It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

Sarai Gross


The well known 1993 film, Hocus Pocus, has been enjoyed by Halloween lovers for years. For many, it is a family tradition to cuddle close and watch the movie to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween. On September 30th, 2022 the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, was released. 

The setting of the first movie takes place during 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. The three Sanderson sisters are sentenced to execution for practicing witchcraft, however moments before their demise one of the sisters makes a curse that if a virgin were to light the black flame candle the witches would return and get their revenge on the town of Salem. Three hundred years later, a boy who does not believe in the story of the Sanderson sisters decides to light the black flame candle. To his surprise, the three witches suddenly appear and are determined to get their revenge.

Naturally, people have opposing opinions even when it comes to Halloween movies. The reviews given by students at John W. North are mixed.

“I watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween. I absolutely love it. It’s been an annual tradition since I was nine maybe,” says sophomore Elizabeth Bravo. For Bravo, watching Hocus Pocus during this time of year is a must!

On the other hand, Makayla Lindsay, another sophomore, was not a fan of the film. “Seeing the first Hocus Pocus movie when I was younger I was creeped out because seeing Max sacrifice himself for Dani made me think that as long as you are young, the sisters still want you,” states Lindsay. The two students have differing opinions about Hocus Pocus 1. 

Hocus Pocus 2 takes place in modern day Salem. Two teenage girls are tricked into lighting a black flame candle, causing the Sanderson sisters to return to Salem once again. One of the witch sisters, Winifred, wants to become an all-powerful witch even though she has been warned before that the power spell that makes a witch all-powerful should never be casted due to the dire consequences that will follow. The girls who brought the witches back are on a mission to keep the spellbook out of the Sanderson sisters’ reach but they fail to do so. When it is too late to stop the spell, Winifred Sanderson finally realizes why the power spell is forbidden.

Bravo continues, “I think they ended the first one well, so there was really no need for a sequel.” As a fan of Hocus Pocus, Bravo was not expecting a second movie to be made. While Bravo believes Hocus Pocus 2 was a decent movie, she also feels there was no point in making it because the first movie ended leaving no questions or expectations for more.

“The second movie was cheesy and worse than the first, but I could still see myself watching it every year just to get into the Halloween spirit,” Lindsay states. She isn’t a fan of either of the Hocus Pocus movies but for Lindsay, watching Halloween movies during October is fun even when the movies are cheesy.

Both Hocus Pocus movies are available to watch on Disney+. It is now up to you to determine whether the hype of the sequel to the 1993 film is deserved or if it is just a bunch of hocus pocus!