Hocus Pocus (1993) Poster


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The critics couldn't be more off-target!
franko19981 November 2001
While I've been enjoying this film for years, I only recently decided to read some reviews for it, and am shocked! The truth is, this film is a wonderfully comical and charming tale of three Salem witches that are resurrected by a teenage boy, who, with the help of his little sister and love interest, must try to stop them from stealing the souls of children. This movie really sparkles in the representations of the witches, who are all cast perfectly. Bette Midler provides for a hilarious and almost frightening Winifred (the leader), Sarah Jessica Parker shines as the sexy, dim-witted Sarah, and Kathy Najimy is marvelous as the funny, perky Mary. What makes the film even better is that there are two stunning musical numbers--Midler's delightful "I Put a Spell on You" and Parker's hypnotic "Come, Little Children." Ignore the critics, "Hocus Pocus" is perfect not only for Halloween, but for any time of the year!
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**** out of ****
clay-89 October 1999
I don't what the critics were talking about, but I found Hocus Pocus to be extreme fun, from start to finish. The use of color and the sets is all magical, giving the movie a strange fairy-tale feel. I also found it to be very funny with great special-effects. The movie's just plain fun. The three witches, thankfully, aren't flat and dull. This movie is scary without being profane (ala Mighty Joe Young) or super duper frightening. A great film that's much better than most Disney live-action films today.
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They'll "Put A Spell On You"!
mdm-1122 May 2005
A traditional "Halloween Ghost Story" turns into a real life adventure for 3 kids who break the spell of the Sanderson Sisters. The story is an engaging one and will have even grown-ups pay close attention. The Sanderson Sisters (wonderfully played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy), convicted of witchcraft in Colonial Salem, Massachusetts and put to death some 300 years ago, are brought back to life when "a virgin lights the black candle". It's up to two teenagers and an 8 year old to stop the wicked witches from succeeding with their sinister plan: to lure the town's children to their witch house and "drink" their life-force away from them.

Bette Midler steals the show when the sisters crash a Halloween party, singing "I Put A Spell On You". There are many "time jokes" as well, having the 17th century sisters "confused" when they experience 20th century life: Blinded by a truck's head lights, they are convinced the sun is rising; they frantically avoid stepping on a blacktop driveway when they are told that it is "a black lake of death"; unable to find a broomstick, one of the sisters heads for the sky on a Hoover vacuum cleaner. The jokes are pretty good, and I was entertained throughout the film. I have watched "Hocus Pocus" several times already, and will watch it again and again. This is another example of a movie made for kids, but enjoyed by grown-ups as well. Recommended!
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eli_88 December 2000
I prepared my self when I sat down to watch this movie, expecting a boring Disney film not for my generation. But this movie was hilarious! Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker were fantastic in their roles as the witches, especially Midler in her role as Winifred. Unfortunately there is no soundtrack to this film, which is a shame but not a tragedy. Overall a fantastic film that the whole family should enjoy.
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A hilarious and exciting Halloween film
Dragoneyed36312 February 2008
Hocus Pocus is one of those movies that I have enjoyed greatly for many years, even if it is a seasonal/holiday based film. This movie is just so fascinating to me for those fun aspects and qualities it contains that I could enjoy it on any watch. It has the right amount of funny that kept my eyes on the TV the whole time and my mouth wide open with laughter, and it seems many people forget that sometimes that's all we need from a movie to truly love and enjoy it.

With Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker being some of my favorite actresses, I decided that this was going to be a great Halloween flick to begin with, and it certainly turned out to be, for all the three witches put smiles on my faces, and even though this movie had some humorous features without the main three women casted in the film, they really were the most enjoyable and lovable of the film and most of the reason it is as enjoyable and lovable as it is, honestly. After watching this movie, Kathy Najimy actually turned out to be my favorite character though, because she was just plain out hilarious as her ditsy self, like when she flew on a vacuum.

All the Sanderson Sisters turned out to be funny and special in their own way, and like I said, Midler, Parker and Najimy's portrayal of them is really what makes this film for me, even though the story and other characters are just as entertaining and fun. Hocus Pocus is one of the movies that people just have to see at least once if they haven't, because after they see it they will want to watch it again and again, because it really is one of my favorite movies in general, and I hope more people will discover it and view it as greatly as I do. This movie is a magnificent, entertaining, really great and laughable adventure that will leave you in awe. I recommend it to everyone.
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Charming, Endearing, and Under-Appreciated Tale of Three Heinous Practitioners of the Dark Arts.
Elswet22 April 2007
This is the story of three nefarious practitioners of Darkly-aligned Magick and the mark they left on the town which sentenced them to death.

Disney is known to openly endorse and promote the use of the Old Ways. Whether a good Witch (Bedknobs and Broomsticks) or a bad Witch (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Disney loves Magick and those who use it.

These Witches, however, are the worst kind of rabble, and while we attempt to defeat them, character development occurs. This movie is quite entertaining, however it is too dark and scary for younger audiences, and may be considered too juvenile for adults, but the older children and tweens seem to love it.

It rates an 8.7/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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Childrens Film
BetteMid26 May 1999
First of all, anyone watching this film has to remember that it is aimed towards children. You cannot have the expectations that there is some deep meaning connected with this film, or that it is going to be another Bette Midler comedy with R-rated humor. If that is what you are looking for, watch "Ruthless People". This film is funny and cute. That is all. If I was a 10 year old child, I would love this movie. It is a family film and nobody should expect anything more. Secondly, it has Bette Midler and a wonderfully funny Kathy Najimy and dim-witted Sarah Jessica Parker......so, ENJOY!
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az88200416 April 2007
This movie came out when i was 5 years old, I had seen the trailers for it and I couldn't wait for it to come out. Back then it was my favourite movie of all time. I would watch it every day, sometimes twice a day... (I know, sad, right?} Now i am 18 and it is still among the best movies EVER!!! I wish that they would do a sequel with the original cast! That would be so cool! Something like... They come back to get revenge on Danny and her new boyfriend or son or something. I don't think they will though! I would love to be in it! ! ! It is such an amazing mix of history, drama, comedy, supernatural and playfulness. I read that this was originally going to be a TV movie for the Disney channel and not have Sarah, Bette and Kathy in it at all. Boy are we lucky they were. I know that it sounds like I am babbling on a bit and not making much sense but they won't let me post this message if it is less than 10 lines! How ridiculous is that? It would be better if I could just write what I want to say and not have to fill the ten lines with nonsense just so I can post a comment!
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Bewitching Bette
robinpoe5 July 2005
This movie is funny, scary, but warm and human all at once. It emphasizes the value of families working together to help each other and does not create confusing messages about good and evil. It's a fast-paced comedy that does not trivialize the characters. Bette Midler's rendition of "I've Put a Spell on You" shows the depth of her talent as a singer/stage performer. The divine Ms. Bette has great chemistry with both Kathy Naijimy (how does she get her mouth to do that?), and Sarah Jessica Parker (amok, amok, amok). While the scary factor with corpses and death may not be appropriate for very small children, the movie is lots of fun for the whole family.
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A+ 5 Stars
ledzepfan21515 April 2001
I thought this movie was a good movie for the whole family. There is something for everyone in this movie.... singing,comedy,some action,very good music and thrills (for the younger audience). The director spiced the movie up with musical numbers by Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler. There were also some good stars in the movie; Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and a young Thora Birch (she was so cute in this movie).It's terrible that the only score for this movie was a promo CD (which is very hard to find and very expensive if you do find it)... and not a soundtrack. I really hope that Disney or some company re-releases the DVD version of this great movie.
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Great Movie!
kooolkyl5 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is great! Some people say that its a bad movie because the parts that are supposed to be scary aren't. They aren't supposed to be scary they're supposed to be funny! And some say the actors aren't good at being witches because they're not scary either, again not supposed to be. Winnie (Midler), Mary (Najimy) and Sarah (Parker) are supposed to be villains that make people laugh not frighten people.

The three witches themselves are so well developed. Winnie is the leader, who is seriously evil, and wants to steal the lives of children to redeem her own.

Mary is the suck up of the three: She is always trying to please Winnie and make sure that Sarah doesn't ruin Winnie's happiness. She is always making sure that Winnie is please with herself and whenever she is upset, she offers Winne to allow her to hit her to see if that will make her feel better.

And finally the youngest,ditsy, spider-eating Sister Sarah. She is always getting herself side tracked. In the party when she is supposed to be looking for Max, Allison, and Danni, Winnie catches her making out with one of the boys at the party. She never has a clue and is always caught wondering what is going on the whole time, when she is turned young at the beginning her first words are "Oh boys will love me!" So in the long run this movie in my opinion will always be a Halloween classic. All the Halloween movies are either too scary, too corny, or too gory. During the Halloween season this movie is one of few movies that you'll see on TV (Besides the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown..) that doesn't involve blood and gore in it.
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Best Halloween movie Ever!!!!
castielfan894 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I love this movie so much I watch it every year. Next year it will be 25 years old and it's still so funny and compelling. It has so much campy and cheesy moments that you typically find in a Disney channel movie but it's so good and worth every minute of watching. Bette Midler brings her A game as Winifred Sanderson the oldest of the Sanderson sisters. The movie starts in 1693 and shows us the Sanderson Sisters doing what they do best sucking the life out of little children so they can have eternal youth. Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play the other two Sanderson Sisters each bring their own comedy to these three witches. Finally in 1693 they get caught by the townsfolk who of course hang them, however before they die Winifred swears they will be back. The movie fast forwards three hundred years into the future where we follow max a boy and his family who. Moved from LA to Salem. He ends up being the virgin that lights the black flame candle which brings the Sisters back to life. Now max and his crew must battle the witches to save the children of Salem. This film offers plenty of laughs and interesting story lines a film for all ages to enjoy year after year.
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Exciting and Fun Halloween Movie
denireguerrero30 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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A tone of improbable goofiness
Bonehead-XL3 November 2013
If you grew up in the nineties, you've probably seen "Hocus Pocus" a few hundred times. I think most every generation gets their own kid-friendly horror-lite Halloween movie. "Gremlins" probably filled that role for a lot of eighties kids and hopefully "Coraline" is the pick for the modern 6-10 crowd. "Hocus Pocus" is nowhere near as good as either of those movies but I've seen it a bunch anyway. Probably more, since my Mom has long been a Bette Midler fan.

Of course, even goofy kid's flicks like this have new information to reveal. I had no idea that Mick Garris, veteran horror screenwriter, co-wrote this one. Nor did I know that Doug Jones, probably the most famous creature actor today, played the zombie in this. Was there any other new information waiting me? The movie actually holds up alright. The decent premise is classic horror stuff. Set in Salem, of course, the child-stealing Sarandon sisters were executed but not before doing a few things: Turning a local teen into an immortal black cat, draining his little sister's life force, and, more pressingly, placing a curse on the town. Should a virgin ever light the black candle, they will return. Of course, this happens. Recently relocated teen Max, dragging his little sister and high school crush with him, lights that candle, revives the witch sisters, and leads to a bunch of wacky antics.

The cast and characters make the film far more likable then it would have been otherwise. Bette Midler goes far over the top as lead witch Winnifred. Her make-up is cartoonish, including frizzy red hair, perpetually pursed lips, and comically exaggerated buckteeth. Midler's acting is on the same level. She hoots, hollers, squeals, and delivers every line with comic-stripe panache. Even her facial expressions and body language are calculated for goofiness. She plays off the other two sisters nicely. Sarah Jackson Parker, before everyone started calling her a horse, brings a manic energy to the part. She jumps around, repeats dialogue, and actually conveys a wacky sexiness. Kathy Najimi is similarly silly, acting like an overgrown dofus.

Much of the humor comes from typical "fish out of water" shenanigans. The witches are baffled and occasionally delighted by asphalt, a bus, TV, remotes, and the concept of Halloween. Some of this is more entertaining then others. The interaction with a horny bus driver or Garry Marshall dressed as the Devil get genuine laughs. The trio constantly being fooled by fire sprinklers or headlights proves less so. Some of the overly goofy gags prove better then others. The witches having their brooms snatched by young look-a-likes is amusing. Them jumping on mops and vacuums are the sorts of goofy, kid's movie jokes you'd hope the movie would avoid. Midler and crew deliver their frequently corny dialogue like pros, never loosing that ridiculous cartoon tone.

It's not uncommon for the kids in the kids' movies to be punch-worthy. "Hocus Pocus" mostly avoids that too. The movie's theme boils down to one of sibling love. Surprisingly, this is incorporated organically into the story. Binx, the talking cat, lost his sister and is driven by the hope of being reunited with her. Max comes to appreciate and love his sister over the course of the story. It fits in and isn't overdone. The improbably named Ormi Katz finds a decent balance between grouchy, angsty teenager and proactive protagonist. A tiny Thora Birch also comes close to annoying. Her emotional interactions with the brother and the talking cat make the character relatively real. Vanessa Shaw is lovely and shows some genuinely comedic skills as Max's love interest. Only the ridiculous bully characters overdo it.

The movie couldn't cast Bette Midler in the lead without getting her to sing. The whole movie's tone of improbable goofiness is best summed up when a three-hundred year-old witch walks on-stage and sings a choreographed song-and-dance number. Yet that's probably the most memorable moment in the film. The zombie antics, with his head and fingers getting knocked off, are nicely gruesome for a kid's flick. "Hocus Pocus" even has a moment of eerie beauty, when Parker lures the children of the town away with a siren song. The music is ethereal and the image of hundreds of kids, some still in their Halloween costumes, walking the streets at night sticks with you. The special effects don't hold up and the whole movie is a goofy trifle. As far as nineties nostalgia go? "Hocus Pocus" is one of the better examples from my childhood.
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My child-hood movie!
Kezzizzle30 November 2006
I have this movie on VHS (yeah that sounds ancient now!), and I've had it since it was released in 1993, so my poor knackered video tape is 13 years old. I recently bought it on DVD as my VHS quality was getting poor (probably because I watched it over and over when I was young!).

My oh my...it bought back some good memories. As sad as this is, I use to remember EVERY single word in this movie when I was a little whipper snapper, and I use to speak along with the cast! This movie sparked up those memories!! It's a classic film for anyone I would say. I love how it still makes me laugh and I love singing along to the classic numbers "I put a spell on you" and "come little children".

An awesome awesome film about 3 witches who come back to life after 300 years of being dead. If I have children when I get abit older, I will Definitely be showing this one to them as this is NOT a film to miss! And I didn't actually realise that the little girl in the movie is Thora Birch (well I did, I just didn't pay attention to the fact). She's a great actress and even then at such a young age! Just go ahead and watch it...doesn't need to be saved for halloween, it's a great film that can be watched all year round :)
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Pretty average although very funny in places.
Arthur Pewty13 April 2001
I do like this film, though only moderately. In some places it's really funny and includes some adult humour as well as stuff for the kids, but a lot of it is predictable and has a pretty basic story line. I thought that Bette Midler's performance was brilliant (as usual) and that over all, I would watch this film again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.
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Strange Mixture of Kid Stuff and Sexual Innuendos
rowan_red11 March 2005
I have seen "Hocus Pocus" recommended as a "kids movie". Well, I would say that with big reservations. "For kids 8 and over" might be more a more accurate recommendation, if that.

The movie includes a living corpse character brought back to life from the dead: part of the humor is that his body parts keep falling off. There is a lot in this movie that might seriously freak out little children!

And then there's the running gag about the boy who is the hero being a virgin. Be prepared, if you watch this with your little kids, to be asked to explain what a "virgin" is. The local bus driver picks up the three witches, who are pretty freaky, and seems to be extremely attracted to them. When they tell him they desire children (another really frightening concept in this movie), he replies, "It could take a while, but I think I could do that for you." And witch Sarah Jessica Parker displays a lot of cleavage (who knew?!). And much more of the same type of innuendo occurs, which is more on the level of a teen movie than a kids movie. (And teenagers will say it's too "kiddish" for them.)

The movie veers back and forth between light-hearted comedy and gloomy, scary, violent scenes, in a way that turns out to be rather badly balanced. The expectation of a Disney movie doesn't prepare parents and kids for some of the contents of "Hocus Pocus". For instance, when the witches kidnap the hero's young sister from her bedroom, this is really a frightening thing for kids (and parents).

And then having to look at Bette Midler with her buck teeth, and Kathy Najimy, who appears to be continually on the verge of drooling--now that's disturbing!
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Midler is Sensational!!
aharmas2 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Hocus Pocus" is fun, simple, silly, and delivered in a long gone style. There is nothing deep or complicated but a tale of legends and children who dare to play with forbidden objects. The line " I told you so" is probably one that one could hear over and over. Instead, we just tag along and enjoy the various episodes dealing with black cats, vengeful witches, and adventurous children.

Back in the time of Salem, three witches are executed, leaving enough proof of their existence and becoming the heart of the many legends in a small Northeastern town. There's nothing really scary or threatening here. Yes, the witches are back for revenge and speak of having people for dinner. However, as the lines are delivered by Midler with a twinkle in her eyes and her sisters ham it up for the camera (Najimi being more successful than Parker), the comedy is broad; the type that children will enjoy the most, and adults can be willing participants to feel like kids again.

I was mostly impressed by the quality of the production, obviously filmed in a studio, yet good enough to give the illusion of a Halloween fairy tale. You will see witches flying, some double entendre for the adults, and a hint of zombies. Just tune in, get some pop corn and enjoy a bit of magic.
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Pleasant enjoyable Disney movie!
Davis P23 November 2015
It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus! Or so they thought........ These Salem Massachusetts kids are in for a big surprise! Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker all team up here as the Sanderson sisters, 3 witch sisters raised from the dead from on of the teenagers. This Disney movie is honestly one of my absolute favorites by Disney! Hocus Pocus is a great, entertaining, and family friendly movie for all ages to enjoy. You'll laugh your ass off watching this fun flick. Also, the special effects are very good and cool to see, lots of flying on brooms, shooting lightning, and more..... The plot is well constructed as well, it'll make u laugh, cry, and just have a lot of fun! All the actors do a great job with the film, Bette midler in particular! She was amazing as the lead sister, Winnifred Sanderson. So families at Halloween time, I've got a good one for you! And there isn't really anything inappropriate in it, the word virgin is used a few times, it's kinda integral to the plot. And Danny's mom is dressed up as Madonna, wearing big pointed shells on her breasts. Other than that, you should be all set!! 10/10 for Hocus Pocus, flawless Halloween film!
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Funny Halloween flick
hnt_dnl31 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"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!
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One of my favorite childhood movies...
Taylor Kingston10 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely love this movie. I have seen it so many times and it doesn't get old or boring at all. I saw it for the first time when I was probably about seven or eight years old. It was a little scary at first, but it is just a funny, interesting movie now. My favorite character is Winifred because I love the way she acts, talks and treats her sisters.

This movie is about three witches who died in 1693, and on Halloween night, 1993, Max, a teenager new to Salem, lights the Black Flame Candle, which resurrects the three witches. They have to suck the life out of children in order to stay young and survive when the sun comes up the next morning. The entire night, Max, his sister, Dani and his crush, Allison, try to stop the witches. It's very funny to see the three sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah react to the new world.

Best part of the movie: Pretty much anything with the witches.

Worst part of the movie: When Billy is chasing the kids.

Recommended for: Everyone.

Overall, I give this movie a 9 out of 10, which in my ratings book is: Amazing.
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Excellent Family Movie
martyn-lindley27 October 2013
This movie was a staple in our household for many years as a quality way to spend a spooky Halloween evening together. Now that the kids are grown, I am hoping (and expect) that our grandchildren will be just as enchanted. The target audience is families with children from 6 to preteen, so any negative reviews that ignore this are just not thinking about the goals of a certain genre of movie. This was back in the day when Disney family movies and TV were truly doing a great job... now I don't want to sound like a codger, but my impression is that even Disney has moved past the age of innocence and is putting out material that is very narcissistic and full of "empty calories". Lastly, I would have to say that I truly think that Sarah Jessica Parker delivered the best performance of her career in this film. Of course, I don't think her work after this film really could be deemed as high quality, but she was so funny in this movie that I think she squandered a career of playing sexy/ditsy roles that would have been "spellbinding".
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Enjoyable kids stuff.
MartinHafer10 August 2013
I just saw this film on ABC--an American network owned by Disney. Well, after doing this, I DON'T recommend you do this yourself! Instead, rent the movie, as ABC inserted so many commercials that it was driving my poor daughter mad as we watched. They chopped out portions of the movie so they could insert more commercials! Because of this, important parts of the film were missing--such as what happened to the parents who were STILL dancing as well as what happened to the bullies. On the other hand, the film inexplicably has a few obscenities (odd for a kids movie) and ABC sanitized them--a plus for parent concerned about their kids hearing this sort of stuff. As for me, I'd rather hear a few obscenities and actually get the whole film. Curse you Disney!

While I did not love this film, I watched both my daughters (the one who hated the ads plus my other one) and they were absolutely fixated on it. Throughout, they laughed and had a wonderful time. And, given that I did not grow up watching this film (like my kids did), I enjoyed it well enough. Overall, a clever story with enough to interest kids and parents alike. As for me, I loved the scene where the witches met Satan--quite clever.
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I love this movie!!!!
alilrebelchick13 April 2013
This is by far one of the best Halloween movies I've ever seen! I watch it every Halloween, every time it comes on TV (and yes, I have it on DVD too). All the actors did such a great job I can't imagine anyone else in their roles. It's got it all! The scary, the funny, that childlike, sentimental Trick or Treat feeling of Halloweens gone by and the beauty of Salem/New England that makes you feel like you can almost feel the autumn chill in the air while Billy the Zombie is chasing you! I don't think Leonard Di Caprio could have outdone Omri Katz and Sex In The City's Sarah Jessica Parker was fantastic playing the dim witted sister Sarah. And who doesn't love Mary Sanderson played by Kathy Najimy? And we can't forget darling little Thora Birch as Dani Dennison! (My, how she's grown since then). Oh, and I must not forget to mention the great soundtrack. You can't beat the vocals of the Divine Miss "M"! All in all, a great movie for the whole family to be seen again and again. In fact, I suspect this movie has become a Halloween tradition for many Hocus Pocus fans.
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Were the critics watching this with bags on their heads?
Mimi Christian21 October 2012
Hocus Pocus, a film that only comes around once a year...October. I wait all year long to watch this film, and have been doing so since I was very young. I have never purchased it because they play it nearly a dozen f!#%ing times during the month of October. At the same time, this film is great year round. I chose this as my first review because I just watched it and feel that the film in under-appreciated. This is a charming little film about three Salem witches resurrected from the dead by a teenage virgin whom lights a black flame candle. Max must stop these witched from stealing the souls of children. He does so with the help of his adorable little sister, Allison (whom he pines over at night), and a helpful talking (cursed) cat called Binx. The casting is absolutely perfect, right down to Omri Katz as Max. Bette Midler does a fantastic job as the evil, scheming, mastermind Winnie. Sarah Jessica Parker plays the flighty, dumb, and playfully flirty Sarah. She goes back and forth between a hypnotic "come hither" persona and then will burst into random chants and fits of joy over disturbing things such fresh dead man's toes. Kathy Najimy plays Mary, the chubby witch with sometimes wrongfully placed optimism. There are two musical numbers in the film, most notably Bette Midler's rendition of "I Put a Spell on You" which is both humorous and pleasing to the ear. When you watch this film, you cannot take it too seriously, in fact don't take it seriously at all. You will have a much better viewing experience this way. This film is absurd, and cliché, that's the beauty of it! It is also very comical with laughs for children and adults alike. There is a point in the film where Mary, Kathy Najimy's character, is flying on a vacuum cleaner. This is just one example that stands out because it has had me cracking up since I was six years - old. Ignore what others say about Hocus Pocus, the critics reviews are baloney. (I couldn't find something similar to the phrase "Hocus Pocus" that would be witty and fitting to describe their reviews. Sorry. Baloney it is.)This film is marvelous and entertaining for all ages, all year round. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch it. Then you too will consider it a quirky classic.

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