Halloween’s favorite witches are back

Rylee Craig Editor-in-Chief

The camera pans, as we follow a crow, leads us over the Forbidden Woods.  Suspenseful and spooky music plays along with an eerie chiming of a bell tower as the crow flies along. It gets louder and louder as we find ourselves back in 1653, in Salem with the young Sanderson sisters. 

On Sept. 30, Disney+ released “Hocus Pocus 2,” a sequel of the original and classic Halloween movie, “Hocus Pocus,” that was released in 1993. “Hocus Pocus” takes place in modern day Salem, Massachusetts in 1993. 

Three hundred years have passed since the Sanderson sisters (Winifred, Sarah, and Mary) were executed for practicing witchcraft. Now it’s Halloween in 1993 and Max Dennison has lit the candle that is said to bring the witches back to life. Now Max, his girlfriend, and his little sister, along with a three hundred year old cat, all have to work together to stop the sisters and save Salem. 

Continuing the legacy of this classic film, “Hocus Pocus 2” continues the story of the Sanderson sisters, also taking place in present day Salem. It’s been almost 30 years since the witches were banished for good, or so everyone thought. The witches are back to cause chaos after being accidentally summoned by three teenagers (Becca, Izzy, and Cassie.)

The movie starts in 1653, showing us the sisters as teenagers themselves. I thought this opening scene with this flashback story was crucial to understand both films, and really cleared up where the sisters came from and how they became witches. 

One thing I really enjoy about the Sanderson sisters are their distinguished personalities portrayed in both films. Sarah, (Sarah Jessica Parker), is extremely flirtatious and has a sadistic sense of humor, while also kind of playing up that dumb blonde stereotype. Mary (Kathy Najimy), is the most caring out of all three. She is more competent, clever, and observant than her sister Sarah; however, she has a habit of repeating everything her sister Winifred says. Winifred (Bette Midler), is the most powerful and intelligent witch out of the three, and is more of the leader of their coven. 

Another thing I loved about the movie was that the same actresses from the original played the sisters in the second film. This really gave me that nostalgic and comforting feeling of the original. 

What I also liked about the opening scene with the young sisters was that we see the witches’ personalities as teenagers mirror their adult personalities. I thought these young actresses did a great job of portraying the younger versions of the sisters, which was really entertaining and fun to watch them interact. 

Throughout the movie we are in present-day Salem and are now with all new characters. I thought this present day version of Salem really plays up the whole Sanderson sister legend and story, especially since it is Halloween and everyone in the town seems to be big fans of them. 

The three main characters, Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) who don’t show much attraction toward the sisters’ story, are tricked into accidentally bringing them back to life while performing their annual ritual for Becca’s birthday in the Forbidden Woods. 

This sequel is definitely updated and targeted toward today’s younger generation, compared to the original, considering it came out 30 years ago. It updated its humor and overall feel of the movie, while also still capturing that hokey magic of the original. Although I did enjoy watching “Hocus Pocus 2,” it doesn’t beat the original film. For that, I give “Hocus Pocus 2,” 4 out of 5 stars.