When my boyfriend wants to watch a movie with me, it’s almost always a Disney movie. Many times when I suggested a movie, we ended up watching a Disney movie, because he doesn’t like my taste. I love watching (bad) horror films, not quite the theme for Disney. So last weekend when the occasion arose to watch a movie together, we both got our wish. Because we watched Hocus Pocus: a horror comedy made by Disney! This is the perfect film to watch around Halloween.
The story of Hocus Pocus
From Rotten Tomatoes:
The people of Salem capture and execute three witches for practicing witchcraft. Before their deaths, they vow to return to Salem 300 years on Halloween to exact their revenge. Three hundred years later, a skeptical, newly transplanted Californian, Max, explores the ruins of the legendary witches house and dares the witches to manifest themselves. Disregarding the warnings of his sister and girlfriend, Max lights the Candle of Black Flame. With that, the witches reappear to wreak havoc on the town. The kids take off with the witches spellbook. The sorceresses, who will die by the morning light if they don’t recite the incantation for immortality, have to get the books by whatever means they can.
Wholesome horror-fun for the family
When Hocus Pocus came out in 1993, it didn’t do well in theaters. As you can see on Rotten Tomatoes, it only has a 30% critics score. But as the years passed, it became a cult classic, with an audience score of 70%.
Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson is a big part of why Hocus Pocus is so much fun to watch. She is a Disney villain made flesh. Scary but funny, evil but witty. Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play her sisters and they compliment her well. When the three of them are on screen, there is always something happening. They are like a witchy version of the Three Stooges, they slap each other and play of themselves.
The movie’s biggest appeal for me is the blend of comedy and horror. One of the scenes that stands out for me is the hanging of the witches. You actually see their feet dangling after the deed. The setting is another great strength. The movie takes place on Halloween in Salem and it doesn’t let you forget it. During the movie there are children dressed up in costumes everywhere, pumpkins galore and candy, lots of candy.
Hocus Pocus is a modern classic for me. It’s a great alternative Halloween movie if you aren’t into heavy horror movies. I had lots of fun watching it. Even though it was the second movie I watched that evening after the much intenser Candyman, I was engaged . And for all you Sabrina fans out there, there is even a talking black cat. Fun to watch on your own, with your loved one or with the entire family. Disney, please give us a sequel.