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“Hocus Pocus 2”: A Disappointment to Nostalgia

Despite its "Easter-eggs" and the Involvement of the Original cast, "Hocus Pocus 2" Disappointed fans of the Sanderson Sisters.

Frame from the movie 'Hocus Pocus'

Photo: Disney Studios

LatinAmerican Post | July Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: “Hocus Pocus 2”: decepción a la nostalgia

29 years ago, in 1993, Disney released one of its most endearing and iconic films: “Hocus Pocus”. Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, and directed by Kenny Ortega, this classic managed to transcend its time and be a movie that cannot be missed in a Halloween marathon. That is why, when the premiere of its sequel with the original casting was announced after almost 30 years, fans were excited and with high expectations. Unfortunately, "Hocus Pocus 2" did not measure up.

The sequel premiered on Disney + and, although it broke the record for being the most watched movie in the history of the platform by appealing to the nostalgia generated by the success of the first, it left a lot to be desired. Let's take a deeper look at what the sequel failed at and why it left us with no taste in our mouths.

An unfamiliar tone

If something characterizes "Hocus Pocus" it is its tone, which is sarcastic, funny and even a little terrifying. The Sanderson sisters are introduced as cunning witches who don't mind stepping over anything to accomplish their goals, even if it means eating children. But despite their evil, they are such funny and interesting characters that we empathize with them. They make us laugh, but not because they are absurd, but because the film, very aware of itself, builds the comedy throughout the plot and uses itself to make it work.

While "Hocus Pocus 2" wasn't expected to be a carbon copy of its prequel, the film failed to stray so far from that tone. The film begins by telling the origin story of the Sandersons, which is interesting and a success when it comes to exploring more in the development of the characters, unfortunately, that force with which it starts is collapsed by a stylistic tone that is very reminiscent of to the stereotypical Netflix movies. The setting is flat, the plot moves slowly, and the characters are presented in a bland way that doesn't generate any interest.

The witches appear up to half an hour after the film starts and, although their entrance is triumphant, they are shown as a kind of three stooges instead of the wicked witches we met in the first film. The comedy goes from being in the plot as such to using punch jokes and unwitting comments, which not only make the Sanderson sisters look bad, but also bore and even annoy.

The tone of this second movie changes so much that it doesn't help it stand on its own, contrary to what one might believe, but rather it collapses in on itself and ridicules one of Disney's most beloved characters.

Also read: 6 Horror Series you Must Watch on Halloween

Unlovable characters

Although in the sequel the Sanderson sisters are not as incredible as in the first, thanks to the actresses who play them, they are able to connect with them and even make one smile at least. However, one of the biggest flaws in "Hocus Pocus 2" is the construction of uninteresting characters that do not generate empathy. In contrast to the witches, we find the other protagonists of the film: a group of three teenage friends.

Of the three performances, none is remarkable and the character development is uninteresting. The latter is largely the fault of the script, which goes fast and does not allow pauses to argue the plot, so the group of friends out of nowhere has magical powers, and out of nowhere they control them perfectly enough to dethrone the Sanderson sisters.

If the characters of "Hocus Pocus" are unforgettable, those of its sequel do not matter. They are not expected to “win”, and on the contrary, it is outrageous to see how the characters of the Sanderson sisters were reduced to hit jokes worthy of an Adam Sandler movie.

“Hocus Pocus 2” was massively viewed because it appealed to the nostalgia of those of us who grew up watching an iconic movie and were handed a disappointing sequel.