Hocus Pocus vs. Hocus Pocus 2


Matt Kennedy

The Sanderson sisters are forced back into modern day times to fight the aspects of life at a grocery store. Photo By: TV Insider.

As Halloween approaches, many people are getting into what some call, “the Halloween spirit.” These traditions can range from carving jack-o’-lanterns and decorating homes, to satisfying your thrill-seeking side by visiting a haunted house. A common favorite is watching Halloween classics including: “Halloweentown,” “Scream,” “Casper,” “Beetlejuice” and “Hocus Pocus.” 


The original “Hocus Pocus” features Max Dennison, a teenage boy who recently moved to Salem, Mass. from California. He believes all the witch “nonsense” is fake, but on one Halloween night, he unleashes the three sister witches into the outer world. With the help of his sister, Dani, and his friend, Allison, the group must stop the evil witches before they snaffle souls of the town’s children. 


On Sept. 30, Disney+ released “Hocus Pocus 2” as a celebration of their 29th anniversary with the motto “We’re Back, Witches.” The main idea around “Hocus Pocus 2” is generally the same but instead of Max, three young girls release the Sanderson sisters into the modern-day world. From there, the sisters have a plan to summon all the Salem children, and the three girls: Izzy, Becca and Cassie, must stop them before it’s too late. 


Overall, “Hocus Pocus 2” seemed to be favored more by movie critics and less favored by the audience. The movie received a 61% on Rotten Tomatoes from movie critics and a 53% from the audience viewers. One movie critic, Gregory Wakmen explained, “As soon as the trio turn up, “Hocus Pocus 2” immediately becomes compelling and enjoyable.” Meanwhile, audience viewers say, “Even nostalgia wasn’t able to keep me excited for this one.”  


Unlike the original “Hocus Pocus,” reviews seemed to be flipped compared to the sequel. For the original movie, critics thought the movie was “more ‘trick’ than ‘treat’” and “dreadful,” while audience members will exclaim it’s a “cult classic” and “a must-see” during the Halloween season. 


The North Forsyth student body had their opinions on the new sequel as well. Junior Jessica Klein explained that she had watched “Hocus Pocus 2” and overall enjoyed the original better. She explained, “[‘Hocus Pocus’] was better because it was less emotional…the second one was sad and that’s not what I imagined ‘Hocus Pocus’ to be like. The first one was happy and funny.” Kate Jennings, a sophomore, stated that the original was superior to the sequel as it was “one of those movies that doesn’t need a sequel”.  

In general, it seems as though “Hocus Pocus 2” was not as well-liked through the eyes of fans as Disney+ was hoping for. The company’s phrase, “A Wickedly Glorious Return” appears to have been a letdown among viewers. If you would like to voice your vote, please fill out this google form: Hocus Pocus vs. Hocus Pocus 2.