Well, it’s official. October is here, which can only mean one thing: HALLOWEEN! So what did I do to kick off the Halloween season? I saw Hocus Pocus at a movie theater last night. Yes I am fully a and totally aware Hocus Pocus came out in 1993. But it has been years since I have seen it…and the ticket was only $5. Sad as it sounds, I had some expectations for this movie that went something like this: “It’s a Disney movie. It’ll be ‘cute’ but not scary”. And for the most part I was right. Disney has definitely done darker films, but this was up there.
The movie kinda bummed me out a little. Why? See, the film takes place in Salem, Massachusetts. I was scheduled to go to Salem this past summer but Covid put a stop to that. But ignoring that…the movie actually more adult themes than I remembered. For example, in the beginning of the film, the Sanderson sisters (witches) poison a little girl, turn her brother into a cat in a painful manner, and we actually see them get hanged at the gallows. Then there’s the references to the main character Max being a virgin. Oh and then then virgin lighting the Black Flame Candle, at one point get on a bus. Bette Milder tells the bus driver they need children. The driver replies, “Ok. I can do it but it might take me a couple of tries”. Sarah Sanderson, played weirdly by actress Sarah Jessica Parker (she got to use her real first name as her character) is kinda over sexualized and flirtatious. So again, kinda weird for a family friendly Disney film.
So would I rank Hocus Pocus as a favorite Halloween film? For me, I’d say it’s maybe 3rd or somewhere in the top five. I think I prefer the claymation films from Disney to this. Like Frankenweenie is probably a little ahead of this. And of course, Nightmare Before Christmas is the king of Disney Halloween films for me. But I enjoyed Hocus Pocus. It’s not a “bad” film. It’s just maybe a little corny. I’d watch it again. For me it just isn’t “all that”. Like it isn’t a movie I’d watch and say “I loved it! It’s the best Disney film ever made!” I appreciate it for what it is, though. It’s a good movie for the family. It’s a classic Disney film. So have you seen Hocus Pocus? How would you rate it. Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!