Hocus Pocus (1993)

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I had a chance today to catch Disney’s Hocus Pocus on the big screen for the first time since I saw it back at the drive in.  That was the last show I have seen at our local drive in.

I have to say, it was not as good as I remember.  It was still fine and I enjoyed myself for the most part, but there were a lot of scenes that just did not hold up 25 years later.

The Sanderson sisters were a group of witches who would use the life force of children to stay young.  Before they were hanged for witchcraft, they completed a curse indicating that they would be back.

When Max (Omri Katz), a new boy in town, was showing off for the pretty girl (Vinessa Shaw), he unwittingly brought the sisters back to life.  Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) picked up where they left off, trying to regain their lost youth.  Max, his young sister (Thora Birch), and a talking cat named Binx (Sean Murray) teamed up to prevent the sisters from returning forever.

There are many fun scenes in Hocus Pocus.  I still laugh like an idiot when Sarah Jessica Parker says, “Amuck, amuck, amuck, amuck.”  I always liked Omri Katz from the television program, Eerie, Indiana, and he is very easy to cheer for here.  Vanissa Shaw is beautiful and she has some nice, easy chemistry with Omri.

The musical number performed by Bette Midler, “You Put a Spell on Me” was fun and moved the story forward.  The three Sanderson sisters were great here.

The whole virgin running joke felt very 1990s and was driven into the ground hard by the movie.  There were some moments when the Sanderson sisters were confused by the new world, but other times when they made jokes about things that should have confused them as well.  It was as if they only did not know about the new world when the plot called for them not to know.  That is a weakness.

There are some scary scenes for the young viewers and a few charged moments for the adults.  Hocus Pocus is a fine movie for the Halloween time of the year.


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