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Movie Review: The Sanderson Sisters Run Amok in Hocus Pocus 2!

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Hocus Pocus is one of the most iconic 90’s Halloween films that are still popular 20+ years later.  The Sanderson Sisters and their ridiculous singing and bickering are back and running amok through the streets of Salem.  Read on for a review of Hocus Pocus 2 streaming on Disney Plus starting September 27th, 2022.

review Hocus Pocus 2
Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson in Disney’s live-action HOCUS POCUS 2, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Matt Kennedy. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hocus pocus 2 review

It’s Halloween and friends Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) are looking forward to their Halloween tradition of scary movies and a sleepover.  Their friendship with Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) is strained as the girls are growing up and apart. It’s also Becca’s birthday so they visit Gilbert (Sam Richardson) who runs the magic shop for a special gift.  The Sanderson’s old home is now a kitschy magic shop where Winifred’s ‘Book’ remains in a glass case. Eventually, Becca lights the black flame candle and unknowingly releases the sisters who are more than happy to be back and feed on children.  Can the girls stop bickering long enough to defeat the Sanderson sisters and salvage their friendship?  

Hocus Pocus 2 is a funny and inspired sequel.  Only the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) and Billy Butcherson return from the original cast and it’s clear that these actors adore these roles.  We get two new songs and the sisters get new brooms (one of which includes a Swiffer) in a very funny Walgreens scene.  The sisters are ridiculous and the movie gives us a partial backstory to how the Book came to be in Winifred’s possession with a fun turn by Hannah Waddingham as an extremely powerful witch.

Hocus Pocus 2 should be a new Halloween favorite for children.  It’s funny with just a pinch of spookiness but nothing scary which makes it good for tweens.  The few criticisms I have involve the run time of the movie.  There are about 15 minutes towards the end that could have easily been cut.  Another missed opportunity is that that none of the kids in the original movie returned even though it had been reported that Thora Birch (Dani in Hocus Pocus) was interested in returning. 

Hocus Pocus 2 is a vehicle for these actors to reprise roles they clearly enjoy playing and it’s a movie that will be just as classic as the first.

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