As expected from Disney. If we put aside tradition of making animated masterpieces and concentrate on feature movies, Disney rarely fails, but there's even fewer great movies. This one is no exception. Quite dark story presented in optimistic and cheerful way typical for this company. It's fun and entertaining and it has no bigger flaws, but there's nothing to praise either. Good choice when you just want to relax your brain, cause it's not needed for watching this flick.6/10
There are certain movies that I look forward to watching every time the leaves change color and that spooky time of year comes around. One of these is the delightful 1993 "Hocus Pocus" from Disney. Ever since I was a kid, it's a movie I've always cherished, and I think anyone who loves Halloween will too. When a group of kids decide to light the black candle, they unknowingly release a trio of witches who are determined to kill every last child in Salem to prolong their existence forever, unless they can be stopped first. Bette Midler shines in the role as head witch Winifred, bringing the right mixture of comedy and menace, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy equally shine as her comedic sisters bent on mischief and malice. Mick Garris and Dave Kirschner wrote a magical script that's all too delightfully directed by Kenny Ortega. Oh, did I mention there's a talking cat? If you want some Halloween magic, this is not to be missed!!!!
"The proof is in the pudding!" I need to always remind myself of this line. Too many times I have not watched certain movies due to the premise not appealing to me or having seen terrible reviews. Then I have to remind myself of 2 things: (1) Most movies nowadays pretty much suck out of the gate, AND (2) Many movies of yesteryear actually hold up because they by default have so much going for them: genuine dialogue, more practical effects, better and original stories. There are films that I never dared watch as a kid that I have since re-visited that have become personal faves.This Halloween treat HOCUS POCUS (1993) has become a holiday favorite of mine having seen it for the first time marathon-ing a slew of Halloween-themed movies. While it's definitely flawed, it's funnier than 99.9% of the comedies now. Hell, let's just for the even 100! "Hocus Pocus" is the tale of 3 Salem witch siblings who were persecuted in the 17th century, but are revived 300 years later on All Hallows Eve 1993 by the opening of their book of spells by an unwitting teenager named Max (skillfully played by Omri Katz of "Dallas" fame; he played the character John Ross Ewing for the longest time frame in the original series). Katz does a commendable job carrying the "kid" portion of the film, but it's the witches themselves who steal the show!The 3 witches are hilariously realized by Bette Midler (Winifred), Kathy Najimy (Mary), and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah). Midler, Najimy, and Parker are a laugh riot throughout, with Midler the crafty, witty, wisecracking oldest sister, Najimy the goofy middle sister, and Parker the ditzy youngest sister. I even dare say that as hilarious as Midler and Najimy were, it was Parker who stole the show perfectly playing the brainless blonde bombshell! Parker is so effortlessy ditzy and sexy in this, I'm surprised she never really played another role like this at any other time in her career. She's almost unrecognizable. Also, this is perhaps my favorite of all of Midler's comic performances. She really lets loose here as this is probably her most broad comic role. Midler also makes the best, most funny facial expressions. And Najimy's acting choice of making her character slur her speech totally works and would have sunk in the hands of a lesser comedic talent. And I love the way the 3 actresses show the symbiotic relationship of the witches and do things in sync throughout the fim.The "kid" cast isn't half bad either. The aforementioned Katz is all in and exudes charisma as the put-upon teenage newcomer to Salem, as his family has just moved from LA to put down roots in the infamous, historical town. Katz gets great support from then-child actress and scene-stealer Thora Birch (playing Max's precocious younger sister Dani) and fashion-model-actress Vinessa Shaw (as Max's love interest Allison). Shaw is kind of the weak link among the "kids" as she is obviously more mature than Katz and it's somewhat of a stretch at times she'd be attracted to Max's clutzy, innocent character. Although it's always nice when the nerd gets the girl! Also, there are a few memorable minor characters, most notably the zombified Billy Butcherson (played memorably by Doug Jones), and also the 2 teen bullies who harass Max and steal candy from the trick-or-treaters, the bus driver who has the hots for the witches, the "cop" who doesn't believe the kids story about the witches, and none other than Garry and Penny Marshall, who play a rather creepy married couple. Also, there's Thackery the cat! Can't forget his contribution.There are even a couple of musical numbers, as Midler gets to show off her singing prowess with a memorable number "I Put a Spell on You". Also, Parker gets to show off her singing chops with a spellbinding rendition of "Come Little Children" during the film's climax. The movie boasts an upbeat and fast pace, nonstop laughs, and 3 iconic comic performances from Midler, Najimy, and Parker. The actresses comedic chemistry and timing is something to behold. I really enjoyed how Winifred was the brains and her younger sisters Mary and Sarah spent virtually the entire film mimicking her. It was like they were all sharing Winifred's brain! LOL I will say that the kid's storyline kind of lacked the humor when they were on their own and really amped up when they were in the presence of the 3 witches, which makes sense as the 3 actresses were noticeably more adept and skilled at comedy and comic timing than the younger ones. But, trust me, I've seen a lot worse child actors, a LOT worse! This is one of those movies that further supports my theory that film critics know jack squat about entertaining movies. Last time I looked, comedies were supposed to be FUNNY! If they don't pass that test, they fail completely. Thankfully, "Hocus Pocus" succeeds!
Hocus Pocus is a great Halloween Movie for any age. The plot is interesting because through out the movie three children are going against three witches and they steal their spell book. The low key lighting in the scene before the children enter the school at night creates suspense and a nerve-racking image. The part where the witches and the children are inside the movie gets because you can hear the lightning outside and again there's low key lighting, but there's a little bit of light from the candles. You can also hear the chandelier squeaky noise and swinging back and forth constantly from the wind. The special effects of the spell casting is cool to see because of the colors that appear on the screen and it has some sort of like lighting sound to it. There's really only medium lighting in the beginning, but it makes sense sense it is a Halloween movie. Hocus Pocus is also a comedy. Mostly for children, but I still watch it because it's not to scary and just a fun movie to watch with anyone.