‘Hocus Pocus 2’: The witches are back


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“Hocus Pocus” star Bette Midler performs as her character, Winifred Sanderson, as part of the 2015 Divine Intervention Tour in Chicago.

Everyone’s favorite witches have made their comeback this fall, as “Hocus Pocus 2” premiered on Disney Plus on Sept. 30, 2022. Today, most movie sequels are just a cash grab for the box office. However, the highly anticipated sequel to “Hocus Pocus” is leaving many wondering if it will ruin the magic of the original or be an even greater success. 

As we now live in the age of sequels, remakes and reboots, it was not a surprise to fans when Disney announced that the Sanderson Sisters would be back to haunt and torture the children of Salem, 29 years after they were first bewitched.

 “Hocus Pocus is such a good Halloween classic that a second movie would most likely be just as good as the first,” said Guilford first-year Zoe Whisnant, who has not seen the sequel just yet but has high expectations for what the movie has in store.

As the sequel to “Hocus Pocus” has been awaited by fans for many years, its release has been met with mixed reviews, with many pointing out its lack of magic and dark humor when compared to the original movie. The challenge for sequels to a beloved film, especially one such as “Hocus Pocus,” is maintaining just enough of the original without being repetitive with the plot, or confusing those who may not have watched the original film but may plan to watch the sequel.

 “Hocus Pocus just doesn’t seem like a movie I would actually like, so I’ve never bothered to watch it before, so I most likely won’t watch the second one either since I haven’t even seen the original one,” said first-year Cackie Hopkins.

While “Hocus Pocus” is considered a Halloween classic by many, there still are a few people, some of whom you can find here at Guilford, who have little to no love for the Sanderson Sisters when it comes to fall and all things witchy. 

“Hocus Pocus 2” is both a prequel and sequel to the story of the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker.  The movie opens in Salem in 1653, telling the sisters’ origin story. The audience then learns that the sisters were shunned from the village in which they lived, leaving them to seek refuge in the nearby woods where they are taken care of by Mother Witch, played by Hannah Waddingham. 

“It was good, but not better than the original,” said Rylee Lehman. “I think the long gap between the movies is one of the reasons a lot of people probably won’t like the movie.”

With the return of the Sanderson sisters this fall, many will watch “Hocus Pocus 2” in hopes of experiencing the magic that the sisters originally brought fans in 1993. Although the film wasn’t a blockbuster hit when it first premiered, it is now considered a Halloween classic, inspiring television specials and Halloween costumes every year. Because there are so many years between “Hocus Pocus” and its sequel, expectations for “Hocus Pocus 2” are sky-high. Will “Hocus Pocus 2” live up to the expectations of fans, or leave them wishing the Sanderson Sisters remained the dust that Max Dennison left behind in 1993?