It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallows’ Eve.
*Winifred Sanderson voice*
SISTAAAAHS CASH GRAAAAAB!!!!
It’s been 29 years since Disney took advantage of this property that people Of A Certain Age are supremely nostalgic for (in spite of the movie’s mediocrity*), so yeah, the Sanderson Sisters are back! And teens Becca and Izzy, who have been dabbling in witchcraft, seem to be the only people standing between them and the total destruction of Salem.
*I’m sorry but it’s true. Hocus Pocus is not a good movie. But you know what helps? Our drinking game!!!
Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah, Bette Midler as Winifred, Kathy Najimy as Mary
I gotta give these ladies credit; they clearly made their best attempt at slipping back into the same roles, including certain mannerisms and personality tics. But god I hope the paycheck was worth it because y’all, it’s downright embarrassing. We accept their 1993 performances because that was 1993! But it’s almost 30 years later, and shit hasn’t aged well (I’m not even talking about the actors’ appearance because they legit look great). These characters are cartoons, and their exaggerated reactions and general idiocy are peak cringe.
Lilia Buckingham as Cassie, Whitney Peak as Becca, Belissa Escobedo as Izzy
Alongside the Sanderson sisters, Becca is the star of the film, and Whitney Peak does a great job with the script she’s got—she’s relatable and doesn’t fall into the I’M A DISNEY STAR JUST TYING ON A BIB BEFORE I CHEW ON THIS SCENERY trap. I dug the storyline of Becca and Izzy being estranged from Cassie because she kinda dropped them for her boyfriend, and all three characters are genuinely sweet if not a bit flat.
Rounding out the cast are Sam Richardson as Gilbert, the owner of the magic shop who inexplicably thinks the Sanderson sisters are, like, not evil?; Froy Gutierrez (from Cruel Summer!!) as Cassie’s doofus boyfriend; Tony Hale as Cassie’s dad and the town mayor, who just freaking went for it in a way that frankly I respect; Hannah Waddingham in a cameo looking gorgeous; and LEGEND DOUG JONES reprising his role as Billy Butcherson!!!
Couch-Sharing Capability: Gather Thou Coven
cash grab film is meant to be watched with fellow Hocus Pocus fans. How else can you enjoy the incredibly obvious callbacks?! And for the few bits that are actually funny (the skin care aisle), you’ll want someone to cackle with. I regrettably watched the movie alone, so when I yelled out loud, “WHY DOES BECCA KEEP CALLING CASSIE INSTEAD OF TEXTING LIKE A NORMAL TEEN?!!” there was no one to answer me.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Witches’ Brew
Whether you mix up a recipe from your “magic book” or just pour yourself a glass of
child blood wine, I assure you that alcohol can only enhance your experience. It will certainly lessen the pain of embarrassment you are guaranteed to feel for the three adult, highly talented, and award-winning actors straight up phoning it in.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Amok! Amok! Amok!
I mean, if you want to watch this, I think you know what you’re in for. It’s campy (and not in a fun way); it’s derivative; it’s just… bad. But similar to eating a ton of shitty candy on Halloween, it might be exactly the thing you desire to celebrate spooky season.