Hocus Pocus is a classic movie which is perfect for Halloween. But this is an old movie now, can it stand up to the test of time? The cast includes Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the three witches. Omri Katz, Thora Birch and Vinessa Shaw play the parts of the kids who are out to stop them.
Small town Salem is the home of the famous Witch Trials. For Hocus Pocus, the town is home to three sisters who love witchcraft in the 17th century. After they are hung for the crime of witchcraft, the town moves on and they become the stuff of legend. 300 years after they were killed, they return for one night after a virgin lights the Black Flame Candle. The terrible trio tries to put a spell on the town and reclaim their youth. But they are up against three kids and a black cat with attitude.
Thoughts on the story
This story has its foot firmly planted in the 90’s. The costumes and comedy are OTT, which is brilliant for a kids movie about witches. This is a PG movie, probably because there are references to death and Satan, but it’s not a scary movie that will give kids nightmares. Bette Midler is incredible as Winnie, the sister in charge. Kathy Najimy plays Mary, the sister who uses a hoover to fly and can smell children. Sarah Jessica Parker plays Sarah, the pretty blonde who hypnotises children with her singing. The musical number, “Put a spell on you”, is one of my favourite parts. To be honest, the focus that the story places on being a virgin is pretty unnerving. Where the 90’s really like that? If this wasn’t part of the story, it would have been perfect.
Hocus Pocus has become a cult classic since it was released. This is probably because it is one of only a handful of movies that kids can watch. Halloween is about being scared, and it is hard to get that balance between scaring and scarring children. Hocus Pocus provides a great balance of comedy, horror, child-friendly content with a good hit of adult humour. If you need something for the kids to watch on Halloween, hit them with some magic and Hocus Pocus!