Classics: Hocus Pocus

I will be honest, as I always am. I was never the person who had to watch Hocus Pocus every Halloween. It’s not like I don’t like the movie or Halloween but it was never on my list of things to watch until I was older. Halloween wasn’t that big in my house and witches don’t scare me. Haunted house and ghosts do but I digress.

Hocus Pocus is about The Sanderson witches, Winifred, Mary and Sarah, who were on a mission to make themselves younger by taking the essence of children because who needs the kids. But the witches are foiled by a meddling kid who actually liked his sister, which I could not understand, and wanted to save her. He rounds the town and they hang the witches…for being witches and stealing (and killing?) a child. Before they were hung, Winnie casts a spell that says the girls will return when a virgin lights the Black Flame candle. 300 years later, a teenager does just that and gets his own sister into some danger. These kids just don’t learn, do they?

Alright, some things that we didn’t notice as a kid but know now because we’ve watched it fifty ‘leven times. Thackery is Sean and Sean is Thackery.

Sean Murray, Thackery Binx - 'Hocus Pocus': Then and Now - Livingly

Something we would only know now because we are old enough to watch and appreciate NCIS. Also, Kenny Ortega directed this film. Does that name ring a bell to anyone? Ok, I’ll give some of his works. High School Musical (Hated it). Cheetah Girls 2. If you have children, then you may be familiar with The Descendants. (If you don’t have kids, it’s the story of the kids of villains integrating a school of hero’s’ kids.) Ortega is a director and choreographer which didn’t make sense to me at first, for this film, but when Midler breaks out into song at the Halloween party, I was like, “There it is.”

I want to take a bit of a detour here to talk about the Salem witch trials and how stupid it was. So the Salem witch trials, in a nutshell, was a mixture of people telling the townspeople that their neighbor was a witch because they didn’t like them and an outbreak of rye ergot. So people were hysterical because of some bad bread and more than 20 people were burned or hung because of it. Also, America so…are we surprised? Any who, I just wanted to offer that history lesson just because and say that the Salem witch trials, which you can’t even really say were proper trials, were dumb.

Back to the movie. We all know Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and if you forgot who Kathy Najimy is, look to Sister Act and also The Descendants. There have been rumors that the movie may return for a sequel but do we need that? Should we do that? I mean I guess another virgin could light the candle and they could return again but….again, should we do that?

On another side note, I find it funny that they used a teenage boy as the virgin instead of a girl. Bravo for that! I also enjoy the subtle side story of witches from the 1600’s coming back in the 1990’s and having no idea what’s happening on this foreign idea of Halloween. It wasn’t a huge focus but those are the jokes that make me laugh as well as Winnie insulting, hitting or side-eyeing people. Whoever convinced Bette Midler to do a Disney comedic horror movie, God bless you.

Hocus Pocus is another movie where you have to tell me why we deem this as a classic. Is it the cast? The story? What is it about this movie that makes it a must see during this season? Sound off and let me know and while you’re at it, Hocus Pocus can most likely be found on Freeform, Disney+, in someone’s VCR or Blu-ray player or in select theaters that are open. If you watch this every year like most of us do now, then you know where to find it.

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