Hocus Pocus ~ Midler Steals The Movie

The Anchor
Just a little “Hocus Pocus
Matthew Leo, A&E Staff Writer
October 30, 2012

Hello, and welcome to another Matt’s Movies. As this is Halloween week, I am beginning to reminisce. And so, I am going to bring back some fun memories (and for those of you who have not seen this movie yet, hopefully create some new ones) by reviewing an old Halloween favorite of mine, “Hocus Pocus.”

“Hocus Pocus” starts, as many great Halloween movies do, with some witches. In colonial times, the Sanderson sisters: Winifred “Winnie” Sanderson (Bette Midler), Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) are three old enchantresses who bewitch the sister of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) and suck the life out of her, restoring their youth. They turn Thackery into a cat, but are stopped when the people of Salem arrest them and sentence them to death. Before she is hung, Winifred announces that on a Halloween night, they will return to finish their work, and steal the lives of every child in Salem.

Three-hundred years later, Max Dennison (Omri Katz) is listening to this story in his class. He ridicules the story, and the superstitions held by the people of Salem, which brings him into mild conflict with Allison (Vanessa Shaw), a girl in his class. Later, when he is taking his younger sister Dani (Thora Birch) out trick or treating, he meets Allison again, and they decide to go to the old Sanderson House to see if the stories are true.

Once there, Max lights the black flame candle, summoning the witches back from the dead. Max, Dani and Allison manage to escape with the help of Thackery, and they take Winifred’s book with them. If they can stop the Sanderson sisters from stealing any more life with the potion in the book before dawn, the witches will be gone forever.

Do the Sanderson sisters get their hands on the book again? Does Max succeed in keeping them away from the children of Salem? You’ll have to watch to find out.

“Hocus Pocus” is a movie that is a tradition for me. Every year, the movie has to be watched, or it just does not feel like Halloween. Itreally is a fun movie. The cast is great, especially Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, who play the Sanderson sisters. It’s a lighthearted movie with lighthearted performances, but it is not especially silly either. It does have some serious parts, and even some sad parts.
But Midler steals the movie with one thing; a cover of the song “I Put a Spell on You.” People might disagree with me, but I love her version, and its use in this movie is just great.

I could go on, but I do not want to give away any spoilers. So, in the category of Halloween movies, I’ll give “Hocus Pocus” 5 Stars out of 5, half a star due to Midler’s song. Well, I wish everyone a Happy Halloween, and until next time, enjoy the show!

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