This is a review for the home screening of Hocus Pocus 2; a legacy sequel that’s been made directly for streaming on Disney Plus.
After 29 years, the Sanderson Sisters are back to wreak havoc on the town of Salem, once again!
It was great to see director Anne Fletcher bring back Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, they return to their roles so easily as if they have ever never left. All three actors appear to have brought so much more energy, and wittiness to this spooky sequel!
I rewatched the first 1993 movie directly before seeing this sequel, it was quite jarring going from a movie with hardly any tech, such as mobile phones and various other advancements; to then having all of this shown in the sequel. The best part about this being jarring, is this movie dealt with that change in a cleverly humorous way, with the witches interacting with this ‘new world’. This has ended up being one of my favourite parts of the film.
The new characters Izzy (Belissa Escobedo), Becca (Whitney Peak) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) were not set up too well; there’s unecessary drama between the 3 of them, when they don’t even properly introduce who they are yet; to expect anyone to care about them.
In terms of originality, the plot is a faithful legacy sequel, there are different ways that scenes are presented, a contemporary make-over, and twists and development for new and returning characters that I was not expecting to happen.
The pacing also feels near enough like the original, except it’s quite slow a little bit into the beginning, this soon picks up when the witches arrive.
All of the musical elements for the sequel were performed brilliantly, always impressed with the witches bringing back pop songs extravagantly.
The visuals look well done for most of the movie apart from certain flying scenes that can easily be seen it’s done on a green screen. The magic is appealing to the eye, and they kept all of the character designs and sets looking just as great as the original.
It was surprising how there was such a deep emotional twist at the end, the rest of the film didn’t have that same tone. The ending feels like it wraps the story up well… all while leaving the possibility for a different sequel.
I do prefer the first movie, it just doesn’t stack up against the chemistry that the original characters once shared, this felt like a consistently strong part of the first movie. Although it’s still a great treat to watch the great performances from all three actors who played the witches again for Halloween.