Hocus Pocus (1993)
Title: Hocus Pocus
Genre: Comedy | Family | Fantasy |
Runtime: 96 min
Director: Kenny Ortega
Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy
A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.
CLASSIC LOVABLE DISNEY
Like most of the young people today, I grew up with Disney and watched them slowly take over the world one franchise at the time, but unfortunately, it seems that they have mostly lost their ways. So, it feels good to turn back the time and watch a film with those classic Disney tropes that you now grow to appreciate in today’s age.
In this one, we once again have the typical young supposedly mistreated and misunderstood teenager who mistakenly starts an adventure he can’t control. Here we have Max, a sceptical LA kid moving to magic-believing Salem, and when he tries to impress his crush, he wrongly lights the candle that frees the ancient witches, and this adventure starts.
I love the silly family touch Disney have on their movies, especially on this kind of storylines that could (or should) be scary and horrific. Still, the filmmakers contra it with such elements as slapstick humour and a musical number(?) while keeping its adventurousness, so you feel concern for Max. It doesn’t get “too real” for your nerves, and you’ll even laugh and feel joy. The premise about appreciating your family while you have them will as well leave you in a good mood.
The cast sold the concept and story, especially the villains Winifred, Sarah, and Mary, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. You feel like they are these three-stupid ancient witches trying to take over (and orient themselves in) this modern world. Just like the rest of the cast, they also showed great seriousness in how they approached their roles. They professionally walked the line between dramatic and quirky, in a way that you think they are their characters, but you are not afraid of them.
The scenery and effects looked cheesy and practical, but again, you sort of like it and that’s kind of why you watch, for the nostalgia. Honestly, somethings annoy me such as the lighting effects because they look too fake, but I love the cheesy props because it reminds me of films I grew up with. Hocus Pocus is an entertaining movie, nothing “too dumb” but also not “too complex” like most of today’s films, so it hits the sweet spot in the middle as a good movie that you can put on and watch when you want to relax with family or by yourself.
Richard Bengtsson | Journalist.