It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
I remember seeing the commercials for "Hocus Pocus" as a teen, but I think I'd just missed its target audience. Evidently, it's become somewhat of a cult movie because it seems like people mention it everywhere this time of year. But its charms are lost on me. Aside from the makeup and effects budget, it smacks of Disney Channel fare. Not to mention loud.That said, the witches' costumes were impressive. This is just one of those movies that seemed to pass right by me.5/10
I love this movie so much I watch it every year. Next year it will be 25 years old and it's still so funny and compelling. It has so much campy and cheesy moments that you typically find in a Disney channel movie but it's so good and worth every minute of watching. Bette Midler brings her A game as Winifred Sanderson the oldest of the Sanderson sisters. The movie starts in 1693 and shows us the Sanderson Sisters doing what they do best sucking the life out of little children so they can have eternal youth. Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play the other two Sanderson Sisters each bring their own comedy to these three witches. Finally in 1693 they get caught by the townsfolk who of course hang them, however before they die Winifred swears they will be back. The movie fast forwards three hundred years into the future where we follow max a boy and his family who. Moved from LA to Salem. He ends up being the virgin that lights the black flame candle which brings the Sisters back to life. Now max and his crew must battle the witches to save the children of Salem. This film offers plenty of laughs and interesting story lines a film for all ages to enjoy year after year.
"The proof is in the pudding!" I need to always remind myself of this line. Too many times I have not watched certain movies due to the premise not appealing to me or having seen terrible reviews. Then I have to remind myself of 2 things: (1) Most movies nowadays pretty much suck out of the gate, AND (2) Many movies of yesteryear actually hold up because they by default have so much going for them: genuine dialogue, more practical effects, better and original stories. There are films that I never dared watch as a kid that I have since re-visited that have become personal faves.This Halloween treat HOCUS POCUS (1993) has become a holiday favorite of mine having seen it for the first time marathon-ing a slew of Halloween-themed movies. While it's definitely flawed, it's funnier than 99.9% of the comedies now. Hell, let's just for the even 100! "Hocus Pocus" is the tale of 3 Salem witch siblings who were persecuted in the 17th century, but are revived 300 years later on All Hallows Eve 1993 by the opening of their book of spells by an unwitting teenager named Max (skillfully played by Omri Katz of "Dallas" fame; he played the character John Ross Ewing for the longest time frame in the original series). Katz does a commendable job carrying the "kid" portion of the film, but it's the witches themselves who steal the show!The 3 witches are hilariously realized by Bette Midler (Winifred), Kathy Najimy (Mary), and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah). Midler, Najimy, and Parker are a laugh riot throughout, with Midler the crafty, witty, wisecracking oldest sister, Najimy the goofy middle sister, and Parker the ditzy youngest sister. I even dare say that as hilarious as Midler and Najimy were, it was Parker who stole the show perfectly playing the brainless blonde bombshell! Parker is so effortlessy ditzy and sexy in this, I'm surprised she never really played another role like this at any other time in her career. She's almost unrecognizable. Also, this is perhaps my favorite of all of Midler's comic performances. She really lets loose here as this is probably her most broad comic role. Midler also makes the best, most funny facial expressions. And Najimy's acting choice of making her character slur her speech totally works and would have sunk in the hands of a lesser comedic talent. And I love the way the 3 actresses show the symbiotic relationship of the witches and do things in sync throughout the fim.The "kid" cast isn't half bad either. The aforementioned Katz is all in and exudes charisma as the put-upon teenage newcomer to Salem, as his family has just moved from LA to put down roots in the infamous, historical town. Katz gets great support from then-child actress and scene-stealer Thora Birch (playing Max's precocious younger sister Dani) and fashion-model-actress Vinessa Shaw (as Max's love interest Allison). Shaw is kind of the weak link among the "kids" as she is obviously more mature than Katz and it's somewhat of a stretch at times she'd be attracted to Max's clutzy, innocent character. Although it's always nice when the nerd gets the girl! Also, there are a few memorable minor characters, most notably the zombified Billy Butcherson (played memorably by Doug Jones), and also the 2 teen bullies who harass Max and steal candy from the trick-or-treaters, the bus driver who has the hots for the witches, the "cop" who doesn't believe the kids story about the witches, and none other than Garry and Penny Marshall, who play a rather creepy married couple. Also, there's Thackery the cat! Can't forget his contribution.There are even a couple of musical numbers, as Midler gets to show off her singing prowess with a memorable number "I Put a Spell on You". Also, Parker gets to show off her singing chops with a spellbinding rendition of "Come Little Children" during the film's climax. The movie boasts an upbeat and fast pace, nonstop laughs, and 3 iconic comic performances from Midler, Najimy, and Parker. The actresses comedic chemistry and timing is something to behold. I really enjoyed how Winifred was the brains and her younger sisters Mary and Sarah spent virtually the entire film mimicking her. It was like they were all sharing Winifred's brain! LOL I will say that the kid's storyline kind of lacked the humor when they were on their own and really amped up when they were in the presence of the 3 witches, which makes sense as the 3 actresses were noticeably more adept and skilled at comedy and comic timing than the younger ones. But, trust me, I've seen a lot worse child actors, a LOT worse! This is one of those movies that further supports my theory that film critics know jack squat about entertaining movies. Last time I looked, comedies were supposed to be FUNNY! If they don't pass that test, they fail completely. Thankfully, "Hocus Pocus" succeeds!
Hocus Pocus is a Disney movie starring singer turned actress Bette Medler,Sarah Jessica Parker,and Katy Najmy. The film tells the story of three witches long ago who sucked the life of a child in order to stay young and they turn the young girl's brother Zachary into a black cat as punishment. So the three witches got hanged and the film later cuts to the year 1993 where a boy who doesn't believe in ghouls has a crush on this girl in school called Alison. He just moved from California to go to the place where the witches were hanged many years ago and hates the sight of this new state. Of course during a Halloween outing with his sister and Alison he goes into the Sanderson Sister's house and lights the candle with the black flame,causing the three Sanderson sisters to com back to life and finish what they started,many years go.So what is good about this movie? Well I liked the effects and the backgrounds look nice and Bette Midler sings in this movie too called I've Got A Spell On You and yeah she was great as the witch. As the other two they were good too. As for a horror film(and I hate horror films btw as they scare the crap out of me) but this one wasn't scary at all. If you have younger kids they would be afraid of it. And now for the bad,this film has something against virgins. Now as a kid I didn't notice it but when I was watching it today I was shocked that the writers would thrown in this scenario. Like seriously this is a children's movie NOT for grown ups like me.Overall it wasn't a bad film not the best film ever made but since its Halloween soon I'd say go ahead and watch it.Overall its a 5/10.