‘Hocus Pocus 2’ leaves fans disappointed, nostalgic for original

Meera Field, Staff Writer

Nearly 30 years after the original, Hocus Pocus 2 was just released. One of the most highly anticipated movies of the fall, the film follows a similar storyline to the first one, with three best friends Becca (Whitney Peak from Gossip Girl), Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo from American Horror Story) bringing the Sanderson sisters back to Salem by lighting the infamous black flame candle on Becca’s 16th birthday. The Sanderson sisters are back with the same motive: to take over Salem…and also to look young again. The three girls have to prevent the power-hungry witches from causing chaos and calamity all over Salem and the rest of the world. 

While the three main characters are all new, Hocus Pocus 2 kept some things the same. The Sanderson sisters, Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) all reprised their classic roles, and Doug Jones also returned to play Billy. Disappointingly though, none of the leading actors from the original came back, not even as a side character or cameo.

Despite how much fans were looking forward to the movie, many had mixed reviews. Some feel that there shouldn’t even be a second movie, saying it would have been better off as a standalone. Others feel that it was an enjoyable and entertaining movie that was a good throwback, but most fans of the original Hocus Pocus waited years for a sequel, and the movie ended up being a bit of a disappointment. It got a 63 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and a ⅗ on Common Sense Media. Some reviews say that it had no plot, the characters were bland and it just wasn’t worth the wait. Others say that it’s a great movie for Halloween, it was funny and a good movie for kids, but definitely not as good as the original. 

Compared to the first Hocus Pocus, I was definitely expecting a lot more from this movie. I was hoping for something just as lovable as the first, but with a new plot, but I didn’t get that. It is a kids’ movie, and that’s who it’s targeted towards, but the acting wasn’t very good and neither was the humor. It all just felt kind of bland. Many scenes were really random and didn’t add anything to the plot, and while the actors of the main characters are loved by many, their acting in Hocus Pocus 2 was cheesy and hard to watch. 

Freshman Caroline Emerich says Hocus Pocus 2 was “disappointing” and that it “had a weak plot”. The original Hocus Pocus is one of her favorite movies, but she felt very let down by the sequel. She felt that the characters of the witches were changed a lot and just weren’t as likable as they were in the original. In Caroline’s opinion, it is a movie built around nostalgia, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not something that she will be watching again. She thinks that it could be enjoyable to Hocus Pocus fans for that reason, but if you didn’t love the original, the sequel won’t really hold any meaning for you. 

If you’re someone who loved Hocus Pocus, there’s a good chance you’ll be deeply disappointed with the sequel. While it’s still worth watching for the nostalgia aspect, it’s most likely going to be a better movie to hate-watch with your friends than something you’re watching for enjoyment or entertainment.