Hello everybody, I am back again! And guess who else is? Our favorite witches, the Sanderson sisters! Just in time for Halloween. Now, I am obsessed with Disney, so you know I have been looking forward to this movie since… well the first time I saw the original Hocus Pocus back in 1993. *Insert Titanic music here and my best old lady impersonation* It has been 29 years. Feel old yet? Yeah, me too. If you have not seen the first movie yet, what is wrong with you? Have you been living under a rock? Stop reading this and go watch it! No, seriously. There are references from the first film in the sequel that you should know about.
Disney gives us a little bit of a glimpse into the Sanderson sisters’ background. Throwback to the year 1653. Girl turns sixteen and since her father’s passed on, the town’s reverend takes it upon himself to arrange for Winifred Sanderson to marry one of the townsfolk, John Pritchett. And in true Winifred fashion, she refuses. She says the only man she will marry is Billy Butcherson because they’re soulmates. Or so she thinks. We later find out from Billy that he and Winifred only shared one single kiss and that he really was in fact, Sarah Sanderson’s lover.
Anyway, Winifred is threatened with having her sisters, Sarah and Mary, taken away from her. So, they flee into the woods to avoid this. While there they meet the Witch Mother. Here they learn about how a witch gains her powers on her 16th birthday. And who just turned 16? Winifred! And gain her powers she does.
Fast forward to the present. Now we meet Becca. And it’s now her turn to turn 16. Alongside her friend Izzy they celebrate in their usual way as they have done for years, except their other friend, Cassie, won’t be there because she’s throwing a party (that she shouldn’t be throwing) thanks to her boyfriend. Becca and Izzy stop by their local magic shop to buy a new crystal. There we meet Gilbert the Great, the owner of the shop and the biggest fan of the Sanderson sisters. Gilbert is familiar with the girls and knows it is Becca’s birthday. He gives her a handmade candle as a present to add to their birthday ritual.
Becca and Izzy go out to the woods to do their birthday ritual, and they bring along the candle. As you can probably guess, they light it. After nearly starting a forest fire because the flame started looking like one of those trick candles that does not blow out, they blow it out immediately. But then it lights itself again. And what color do you think the flame is? Yep, you guessed it. It is a black flame candle. And now the witches are back. Thank you, Gilbert.
Becca and Izzy try to trick the witches into believing that you do not need a magic potion anymore to make you young again, that they come ready made. So, they take the Sandersons to Walgreen’s. The sisters mistaken their meaning about the potions and start eating and drinking the beauty products in aisle four. Izzy and Becca escape and the Sanderson sisters must go after them. Winifred takes the only broom the store had. Sarah flies out on a Swiffer Wet Jet. And Mary picks up the tail end by flying out of the Walgreen’s on a pair of Roomba vacuums which follow her throughout the movie.
The movie is spent gathering spell ingredients so that, against her precious Book’s wishes, Winifred can perform the spell to make her the most powerful witch ever and hunting down Cassie’s dad as he is a descendant of Reverend Traske. Along the way they are thrown into a Sanderson sister costume contest that drag queens Kornbread Jete, Kahmora Hall, and Ginger Minj are also in. (Hey girls, hey! We see you!)
Also in true Winifred fashion, Winifred does what she wants and how she wants to. She doesn’t read the warning that comes before the spell because she’s only concerned about becoming the most powerful witch. She does not realize what doing the spell will cost her, until it’s too late. In the end, Becca and her coven of Izzy and Cassie, band together to save the day.
I will leave the storytelling at that so as not to ruin the ending for you all. Fair warning though, you might want some tissues handy. I teared up, okay maybe even cried a little, at the end of the movie. Disney does have a wonderful history of doing that to its fans. But overall, I spent most of the movie laughing. Even felt excited when Sarah briefly stands up for herself against her sister Winifred.
I was expecting the sequel to not be nearly as good as the original, and to be fair it isn’t as great as the original. I could have done without the musical number by the Sanderson sisters. It is hard to beat their rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” from the first movie. But it does hold its own in many ways and is worth a watch. I definitely recommend watching Hocus Pocus 2. As far as Disney sequels go it’s pretty good and worth watching until the end. I give it a 9/10.