Does Hocus Pocus 2 Live up to the original movie?



Hocus Pocus 2 poster

Addison Bowen, Journalist

“Hocus Pocus”is a classic Halloween and fall movie that can be enjoyed by the entire family. Nearly 30 years later, the sequel to the 1993 film has a lot to live up to. “Hocus Pocus 2” banks on nostalgia, bringing back old gags and jokes and hiding easter eggs throughout the film to appeal to the original audience. In theory, it should be a great sequel. Where it falls short is in its execution. 

“Hocus Pocus 2” follows practically the same plot as the original: a couple of teenagers accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back from the dead and need to stop them from murdering children. The main character of the film is a girl named Becca. Becca and her best friend Izzy accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back from the dead while performing a seance for Becca’s birthday. The Sanderson sisters proceed to comically explore the modern world and wreak havoc on the town of Salem, Massachusetts. 

The execution of the plot disappointed me. This movie had so much potential, but fell just short of the mark. In the original movie every character shines with different styles, ages and personalities. Because of this there was a character for just about every viewer to relate to, and every character got a moment in the spotlight. In “Hocus Pocus 2” the characters are bland and boring. All the teenagers in the movie are practically the same boring people who bring nothing new to the table, or they’re an overused stereotype of popular teens. “Hocus Pocus 2” is a movie full of nostalgia, but nostalgia  alone doesn’t make a good movie. Because of this, many viewers who have never seen the original are going to be disappointed and bored, and viewers who have seen the original and likely have a strong emotional connection to it are going to be incredibly let down by the execution of the plot.

The film forfeits fleshing out their characters and story for easter eggs. People who have seen the original will appreciate the easter eggs but not at the expense of the story.  Towards the middle of the film there is a scene of the three sisters flying out of a Walgreens on brooms. Mary rides on two Roombas instead of a broom, which is a direct reference to the original where she rode on a vacuum. The scene was funny and got a laugh out of me, but it was ultimately useless to the plot. About 20 minutes of the run time is spent in the Walgreens where nothing happens, then the Sanderson sisters hurry away so that they can get the shot of Mary on the Roombas. It feels like most of the film the plot is solely progressing so that there can be more references to the original. 

Overall “Hocus Pocus 2” does not live up to the original film. The movie prioritizes nostalgia over fleshing out their characters and story. The film is an unsatisfying sequel to the original and an incredibly boring stand alone. Anyone who watched “Hocus Pocus 2”without first watching “Hocus Pocus”is going to be extremely disappointed in the experience. The boring characters mixed with the chaotic story don’t make for the best viewing experience. There are times in the movie where everyone is talking and so much is happening on screen that it’s impossible to follow what every character is doing. There are also times when absolutely nothing is happening and it’s incredibly boring. People who  have seen the original movie will understand what’s going on slightly better and they will appreciate the easter eggs and returning jokes, but they will be thoroughly disappointed in the lack of well-thought out story and unique characters.