Hocus Pocus

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“Photo 330/365: Hocus pocus” by buistbunch is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hocus Pocus, the beloved Halloween movie that has been appearing on screens across the country since 1993. But just how good can the movie actually be? We’re about to find out; join us!

Plot- 8/10 

The movie tells the tale of Max, a new kid in town, who unleashes a 200-year-old curse on Salem, Mass. on Halloween night. With the help of his little sister, love interest, and a cursed, talking cat, Max must break the curse before the Sanderson Witches eat the children of Salem. The plot captivates the audience, in the 1990s. Present-day, it is clearly an old movie that had its moment 30 years ago. There are few plot twists and leaves the audience wondering “How much longer?” around three-quarters of the way through. Despite this, it is a heartwarming story that teaches courage, the importance of family, and the value of working together. 

Comedy- 8.5/10 

Most of the jokes are classic 90s jokes such as picking on the new kid, stereotypes, and jokes about California. There are a few hidden gems that we both cackled at. These comments, mostly from the witches, or from Max’s little sister, Dani, are casually thrown in as side comments or insults. Our personal favorite, said by Dani, “It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you sold your soul! You’re the ugliest thing that ever lived, and you know it!” said towards the main witch. Dani is definitely one of the best characters. She is so straightforward and savage, we have no choice but to stan. 

Spookiness (pg)-  4/10 

Because this was a pg rated movie, there were not as many spooks but from a toddler’s perspective, it could have been a spooktacular movie. There were little scenes that could be considered “jump scares”  but we still jumped, so points for that. The book made of skin with an eye could also be spooky for younger audiences, but for us, it was just a book made of skin with an eye. When the witches were sucking the life out of children to make themselves younger/live forever, it was very surprising to see that in a kid’s movie. Near the end of the movie, Max, Allison, and Dani come up with a plan to get rid of the witches by luring them to the high school and burning them alive in the school’s furnace. When we saw this we were in awe that it was in a pg rated Disney movie. Spooky levels were up at that point. Overall, this movie was not very spooky, but it had a good amount for the kind of movie it is.

Overall movie- 9/10 

Hocus Pocus was a very cliché movie, but we believe that it makes the movie so special. Our childhood involved many classic Halloween movies and this one felt like a total throwback after watching it years later. Of course, this movie is outdated to the Halloween movies we watch now as teenagers, but the comedy and plot are so unique to its time that it makes this movie so beloved by all. As time moves on, we hope newer generations will appreciate movies like Hocus Pocus instead of calling it old and too cheesy. Getting to know the characters and how the story unfolds is the best feeling that everyone should experience. We definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for another Halloween classic to watch!

Our favorite characters- 

Abby: My favorite character is Winifred Sanderson, the main witch, because of how dramatic she is. When Dani calls her ugly, she responds hilariously. I also appreciate her reaction to death, staring out the window. Her personality is vivacious and funny. I would be friends with her if she were real. 

Jimena: My favorite character is Dani! Dani is the younger sister of the main character Max. Throughout the movie, she makes the funniest comebacks and in my opinion, is the best comedic relief I have ever seen in a movie. Although she is the youngest, she acts as if she is older than the MC, always calling him out for his mistakes. Like Abby said about Winfred Sanderson, I would definitely be friends with Dani if her character was real.

Our favorite scenes- 

Abby: My favorite scene is when Max is leaving school. Not only does his crush reject him (rip), but Max also encounters two amazing characters. The two stereotypical high school bullies are full of cliche jokes. Weirdly, this always makes me laugh and I love that they take his shoes. This obvious 90s scene never fails to make me laugh, so it has always been my favorite part of the movie. 

Jimena: My favorite scene in the movie is at the end of the movie when the gang finally beats the witches and saves the day. Yes, very cliché of me to like the last scene of the movie, but I loved it because of the side characters who were finally set free after the witches were defeated. Jacob Binks and Billy Butcherson had been affected by the witch’s curses and when they were gone, they finally got to rest in peace. Jacob Binks finally got to reunite with his little sister that passed in the hands of the witches, and that ending made me the happiest.