[Header Image: Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson | Disney]
“Thou art lucky to have each other. A witch is nothing without her coven.”
Let’s be honest, there didn’t really need to be a Hocus Pocus 2. The first one felt well-rounded enough and had a satisfying conclusion. However, did that quench my excitement to watch this? Absolutely not.
The sequel picks up nearly 30 years after the original — the same amount of time that’s passed between releases — with the Sanderson sisters returning to Salem once more. The vibes are very similar to the first movie and due to the amount of time that has passed, it’s yet another new world for the sisters to explore even if their goal is very much the same.
That’s not to say the story is the exact same because it isn’t. While there is a need to stop the sisters once more, there are other components including a backstory that is surprisingly delightful and certainly helps with adding an emotional punch as the story progresses. Again, while there was no need for there to be a second Hocus Pocus movie, it was nice to see some familiar faces again and it feels like there was an effort to avoid making the exact same movie for the second time.
Of course, considering the amount of time that’s passed, there are a few new faces too. Unfortunately, it feels like there wasn’t enough time to get to know them all that well and it felt more like the start of figuring out who they are. Still, they were enjoyable to watch and none of them felt unnecessary.
Throughout Hocus Pocus 2 there are a lot of funny moments but while there are plenty of times when the jokes land really well, the humour does get dragged out in places. It’s not enough to completely ruin the experience or the overall pacing of the movie but it could have been a bit more put together. That being said, it still had me laughing out loud a few times and at its core had the same type of humour as its predecessor.
At the end of the day, if you like the first movie, you’ll at least have a good time with Hocus Pocus 2 even though it’s nowhere near as good. It’s an entertaining family movie that’s particularly fun to watch around the Halloween season and you can’t really go wrong with it.
Rating: ★★★★ /5