Watching Hocus Pocus for the First Time
Hocus Pocus is one of the many Disney Halloween films, and one of the more successful ones since it recently got a sequel – even though it was almost 30 years after the original. But, this article is a discussion of my thoughts of the first one; possibly the better one as I've heard a lot of discussion saying the first one is better. That and the fact that the Riverdale cast dressed up as the main characters, is pretty much all I know about the film.
Right off the bat, in just the opening sequence it feels like early 2000 movies. It is very similar to Harry Potter and Hansel and Gretal in the opening sequence. As the witches ride over the lake and then into the house with a little girl. But overall, it reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, especially in the acting and the types of vibes it gives. Although it had an amazing sequence, I felt a little thrown off that there wasn’t a huge amount of context; it kinda just goes with the flow. But then I realized that it actually makes sense since then after the Sandersan sisters “die” that was the explanation. Which brings me to another point I did not expect to be thrown into the future, I thought it was going to be a cutesy Halloween movie with no plot. I was definitely wrong.
Instead, I got a really good retelling of the classic Salem Witch Trials stories, it also didn’t feel like Disney, which in this case it's a good thing. It didn't have musical numbers that were unnecessary or random, instead the only one they had made the story that much better and brought something different. Also, the costumes and makeup in my opinion, are really good and the CGI is also the classic ones from the beginning, which is bad, but that is what makes it good and nostalgic. A specific scene that felt like other movies and felt almost nostalgic was when Max is at the graveyard with Ice. Another scene that was nice and stood out was how they tricked the witches and when Dani tells her mom “I haven’t OD” meaning on candy, for context.
Overall, this movie was a very pleasant surprise and very interesting. I am glad I watched it, I will probably re-watch it on Halloween next year as well. It's definitely a 8/10, but now I’m curious how the sequel is, especially now knowing how good the first one was.
Cover photo from ChaChaGetOut213 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 on Wikipedia Commons