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A Fun, Family Friendly Halloween Pick,
FilmBuff19942 January 2018
Hocus Pocus is a good movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a talented cast. It is a very enjoyable family Halloween film that has a few thrills, but nothing that would be too much for a younger audience. The highlight is without a doubt Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the three witches. They are all unrecognizable and have a great presence in their respective roles.

It does become a little far fetched at times. Though it is obviously a kids fantasy film, as an audience, we are expected to stretch our disbeliefs an awful lot after awhile, as the plot gets a lot more convoluted and adds too many elements.

The more dramatic moments in the film also fall very flat. The moments where they try to add depth to the characters or a bit more humanity to them simply do not work, they just come across as cringey, and the film would have been better iff without them.

Reasonable fun. Enjoyable, but forgettable, Hocus Pocus is a nice watch for the family, but do not go out of your way to see it.

Three witch sisters are resurrected and begin haunting a small town.

Best Performance: Bette Midler
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Average Disney
Smoreni Zmaj12 November 2017
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.

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A Fun, Disney Halloween Tale
bayardhiler31 October 2017
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!!!!
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Good cast, bland material
Mr-Fusion31 October 2017
I remember seeing the commercials for "Hocus Pocus" as a teen, but I think I'd just missed its target audience. Evidently, it's become somewhat of a cult movie because it seems like people mention it everywhere this time of year.

But its charms are lost on me. Aside from the makeup and effects budget, it smacks of Disney Channel fare. Not to mention loud.

That said, the witches' costumes were impressive. This is just one of those movies that seemed to pass right by me.

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Its a Nine. A Spooky NINE!
joshminch28 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This movie features one of the best Binx(ks) in all of cinema. THe cat. I love cats. It made my nephew really sad the MULTIPLE times the cat dies in this movie. Be warned parents!!! Not for the faint of heart. Anyway, it wouldn't be hard to beat that other binks, JAR JAR...you know who ;) This is a great family film, despite all the cat death. WAtch it with your nephews when hes 8+ is what I learned. Also some parts with the BREASTS may be innaprorpriate. This is an alarmingly sexual film.
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Hocus Pocus' Cute Energy And Halloween Spirit Make It A Sweet, If Familiar Treat.
jaredpahl26 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In the years since its release in 1993, thanks to annual showings on television, Hocus Pocus has become something of a Halloween classic. I didn't grow up with the movie, and I don't think it is an especially well-crafted work, so I can't necessarily vouch for Hocus Pocus' "classic" status, but what I can vouch for is the movie's wholesome family spirit. This is such a lovable movie, that any complaints I might have had are dispelled by the sheer charm of the production. I guess it's not a very good film, but its black magic worked on me.

I'll keep the summary short. Three witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts and they wreak havoc on Halloween night. A small band of kids try to stop them. Okay, enough of that. What's important to consider is that the movie takes place on Halloween, and the cast is having fun. I've always had a soft spot for Halloween and Halloween-related accoutrement: Monsters, ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, and the like. So Hocus Pocus appeals to me on the basis of simply being about the holiday, and relishing in the spirit of Halloween. It is one of the few Halloween movies to capture that specific "spooky, but not scary" feeling Halloween night had as a kid. For someone who has long outgrown trick-or-treating, it's an inviting bit of nostalgia.

Let's talk about the cast. Has there ever been a more likable bunch of actresses than the three witches here? Midler, Parker, and Najimy show no pretenses. They are just out there goofing around and having fun. Their performances aren't anything special, of course, but you can't tell me they didn't add more than their share of cute energy to the proceedings. Speaking of cute energy, I have to give a special shoutout to Thora Birch as the young sister, who gushes with charm. She is one of the most watchable child actresses I've seen. She's the heart of the movie, she's got screen presence, and she's a good little actress.

Not everyone will see Hocus Pocus the way I do. I have a pesky habit of rooting for movies because they are silly and innocent, rather than in spite of. Others find that sort of thing unbearable. In this case, Hocus Pocus has two things that distract me from its formulaic, kids- save-the-day plot: A lovable cast, and Halloween spirit. As dumb as it is, I still get the urge to revisit it every October. You could say I fell under its spell.

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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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Childhood? No, Thanks
Seth Warncke1 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie, like many Americans my age, umpteen gazillion times on TV. It does make pretty good Halloween fare for TV. It's very American (as opposed to general horror) as it goes in to the Salem witches. It's "good" for children in it's lack of gore. And it has a few recognizable stars (i.e. Bette Midler) that adults (and certainly my mother) would have gotten into.

After reading the Wikipedia page, I'm not sure if it's a "cult movie" as they describe it at all, much less as to whether it's popular because it was shoved down our throats on television during Halloween time, or if it's popular because it's well-liked.

After a re-watch, I stand by my low rating. It panders to children while maintaining gross over generalizations (the Balkanization of America, teenage virginity, stupid bullies, parents not being home). The type of portrayal of teenage life that makes me cringe as an adult.

I realize it's a comedy, but Disney does so love to make their villains stupid. It makes evil much more palatable and less of a topic to be discussed by making the baddies over the top.

Take, for example, the entire trick-or-treating scene. I've never seen a town that crowded. It's Disney, where "reality" lives on the edges of perfection. This "perfect" America with movies based in it - instead it's these movies that DEFINE America. Again, I realize it's just fun, but when major production companies essentially brainwash people by broadcasting things like this all the time, I think people have a right to write a scathing review.

The film makes comedic errors too. It can't decide if it ones to use vignettes and sketches to be funny or just to have a funny narrative. Little bits like children flying away on the broomsticks so that the sisters lose them, or Mary's joke about cooking scrod at 350 degrees make it seem like it wants to use a sketch humor. But then it does things like have Billy the zombie run around as boyfriend/slave. A movie decides if it wants to make a world or just have little bits of humor in a larger narrative.

Also, the cat can talk and has 300 years to prepare, but can't keep a kid from lighting the candle? How about just removing the candle for starters? Or the book? Or some elaborate stunt like talking to scare them? In the end, the cat jumps on his back once and runs away - despite it being his only job.

It's nice to see Sarah Jessica Parker in a role outside of "Sex in the City", as her name is thrown around a lot so that she seems/seems to have been famous, but I don't know her in anything else off the top of my head.

I also like seeing the positive relationship between older brother and sister. It's not TOO fake like in so many Disney things or overly dramatic. She looks up to her brother and he tries to protect her. They have a legitimate and fairly common problem - a big move. And its echoed in Thackery's inability to save his own sister.

So yet another movie from my childhood that makes me look back on my childhood in anger. ha-ha
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Noisy Disney nonsense
Leofwine_draca3 November 2016
In terms of plotting, HOCUS POCUS has a little in common with the great children's horror flicks of the 1980s; I'm talking THE MONSTER SQUAD and its ilk. A bunch of kids accidentally summon up some centuries-old witches who once again go around spreading havoc everywhere, and said kids must team up to stop them. There the similarities end, however, because this noisy nonsense is an example of the Disney style of film-making at its very worst.

By worst I mean that this is a noisy, pointless mess of a film where no line is spoken when it can be shouted instead. The acting from the trio of main actresses is indescribably bad; Bette Midler is the worst culprit and seems to think she's in some kind of pantomime and needs to shout to keep the audience in the back row awake. The whole film is full of their shouty nonsense as they fly around, curse people, and generally give viewers a headache.

It's this kind of over the top style that makes me avoid anything Disney put out. Surely a little restraint here and there wouldn't have been out of the question? The kid actors like Thora Birch are by contrast subdued in the face of the hamming adult stars, and the only one who comes out of it with reputation intact is the reliable Doug Jones, whose zombie supporting character is the best in the film. Elsewhere it's a mess of special effects and zaniness, and I watched it with my finger hovering over the 'off' button all the way through. If you want to watch a similar children's fantasy about witches then go no further than Nic Roeg's THE WITCHES, a model of restraint and class compared to this.
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Oh God, No.
kylethesonicexevictim24 October 2016
This film is comparable to Amy Schumer and Adam Sandler's careers.

The witches each have one character trait, and that's it. The main characters are bland generic 90's children with no personality, the attempts at humor are cringe-worthy and painful, and the series of events are so stupid that I could not even finish this to the end. But first, some story issues:

1. Why did the cat not warn the teenage boy to not light the candle? If he did, the entire movie would not have happened.

2. Why did the zombie chase the heroes at the start, but then helped them later? Was it because his mouth was sewn?

3. Why did the cat only talk to guide the heroes and be captain exposition? If he had spoken when they were talking to the parents, I'm pretty sure the parents would have taken them seriously.

There are several points in the film where the conflict would have ended if they had spent two seconds thinking before acting irrationally. For example:

1. Why didn't they hide the spell-book by burying it or hiding it under some floorboards? Seriously, the witches had to physically look for it, and it only became a beacon when someone physically opened it.

2. Why did they open the spell-book immediately instead of waiting until morning? "I know we're dealing with witches and who knows if we actually killed them, but let's just learn about black magic, I'm kind of curious."

3. Why didn't they surround themselves with salt as soon as they found out they could do that? Again, They take no precautions and act like they're invincible.

4 Why did the teenage boy drink the life-stealing potion instead of offering to the witch, waiting till she was low enough, then jumping up, grabbing his sister, throwing the vile to the ground, and playing tug-of-war until sunrise?

The "jokes" are about as forced as a crap. First, nearly all of them are written so the film can get a PG rating so the film can look "cool and adult," and as a result, you've got:

immature and uncomfortable sexual innuendo

immature and uncomfortable usage of "damn" and "hell"

and so on. Each one is so awkward and contrived that it feels like I'm watching a High-School production. The acting is laughable. Ever see an amateur production of Hamlet? That's the witches' performances. Ever seen awful child actors before? That's the heroes' performances.

All in all, pretty pathetic. There's also some awful green screen and stupid scenes before the conflict actually starts, but I won't delve into that.

If you're the kind of person that doesn't switch off their brain while watching a movie, I'd suggest you avoid this like the plague.

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Kim Jong24 October 2016
It was difficult being in front of this movie. I am particularly nauseated by the reviewers of who claim "it's the hit of the Fall season". These people are paid reviewers with no pride. Without being insulting, I would say it's an OK movie for up to 12 yr olds. 28 million budget? Maybe 28,000. On second though, they had to pay for the "big-Stars". Actually, there was something positive about this movie....it actually made Sarah Jessica Parker look attractive in her makeup and costume although you could still tell it was her. There's a clue in this movie why Americans are dumbed-down and why someone like Trump is able to compete for the presidency.
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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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Its target audience will probably find this enjoyable and that's what matters I suppose
jimbo-53-18651117 June 2016
Back in 1693, the Sanderson sisters are hung for performing witchcraft. 300 years later they become resurrected after a sceptical teenager lights the infamous black candle as he believes the legend of the Sanderson sisters to be merely 'Hocus Pocus'. Newly resurrected, the mighty Sanderson sisters are set to bring about a new reign of terror on the town of Salem with only 2 teenagers, a young girl and an immortal cat intent on trying to stop them.

Strangely, the best way for me to analyse a film like Hocus Pocus is to imagine yourself being sober and being in the company of a bunch of drunk people; they start off amusing and you find yourself being able to have a bit of a laugh with them in the early stages, but then the longer the evening progresses and the more drunk they get you start to notice that they become louder, more annoying and harder to tolerate. Interestingly, this was my perception of this whole film....

In the last paragraph I am specifically referring to the 3 witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy). To be fair, their performances are excellent here and they are definitely responsible for the funniest moments in the film, but when watching them it does feel like you're in the company of the 3 of the most irritating people in the world (Najimy as Mary says 'I smell children' quite a lot and this is her only real memorable contribution). Parker puts in a good performance, but it essentially just consists of her either being flirtatious or childish - again a mix that works well at the start, but begins to wear out its welcome in the latter stages). Midler is easily the best of the 3 and is able to carry the film with ease - it probably helps that as the leader of the group that she's given more of a character to work with, but she's the only one who really shows any general menace. All 3 women are guilty of overacting at times and their scenes together also feel quite theatrical a lot of the time. The supporting cast are actually OK, but are not as compelling as the leads with only Thora Birch really being able to display any real talent (Birch is probably better known for her work in American Beauty).

Aside from feeling like a wacky, zany and crazy acid trip the film is also rarely funny and seems overly reliant on star power to get by; the story is actually quite weak and isn't particularly involving - this isn't helped by the obligatory trite teenage romance slotted slap bang in the middle of the picture which seems to dominate proceedings.

I also felt that the film missed out on opportunities to be smarter or funnier; the witches are resurrected 300 years later, but the only comments they make on their new society relate to firemen being witch-hunters and Bette Midler asking a bus driver what the strange contraption is that he's driving... More tit-bits like this would have given this film an edge and just made it a bit funnier than it was.

I have to admit that although there were a lot of things that I disliked about this film it's still a colourful and fairly lively film at times and Midler, Najimy and Parker do breathe some life into the film and make it much better than it has any right to be. I suspect that the basic level of escapism that it provides will please older children (its darker themes make it unsuitable for young children). For me though, despite it having some historical significance I just found the story a little weak and found the whole thing to be a little too wacky and crazy and sadly these things came at the expense of it being funny most of the time.
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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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More filmmakers who don't know who they're making a movie for
jfgibson7324 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't like this movie at all. It felt more like an episode of Power Rangers than a Halloween classic. One problem I have with most of the Disney Channel movies is that they follow a very small group of characters around, trying to deal with whatever problem for just long enough to fill a feature length running time. They end up feeling very insular and formulaic, like the Hardy Boys mysteries that all had about the same number of pages in them. Hocus Pocus had a few good ideas, but no one was interested in developing the story further than a basic repetitive chase sequence. The performances were terrible. The three leads--the witch sisters-- should have been fun, over-the-top characters, but without the right direction, they didn't find the right tone. It's too embarrassingly silly for anyone over 8, but also a little scary and graphic for very young children--and did they have to mention that the protagonist was a virgin so many times? You make a movie that's too stupid for almost any age, then throw in concepts that are inappropriate for your already limited audience? Disney's main feature studios are extremely good at developing scripts that can be enjoyed by all ages, but the other arms of the company just seem to churn out junk like this quickly.
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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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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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An Underrated and Timeless Classic!
jmcd200727 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I always make an effort to watch this film every Halloween, and it never disappoints! If you like Halloween films that are more comedic than scary, then this film is for you. It's fun for the whole family, really! The main plot of the film revolves around the Sanderson sisters, Winifred, Mary, and Sarah, who were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693 for the "spiritual" and untimely death of Emily Binx (the witches literally sucked the "youth" out of her), sister of Thackery Binx, who was later cursed by the sisters to eternally live as a feline after attempts to save his sister from the witches, failed. However, before their deaths, the witches cast out a spell which will resurrect them once a virgin lights the "black flamed candle" on Halloween night. Once the sisters are hung in front of the whole town, Thackery Binx ends up guarding the Sanderson sisters home for the next 300 years. However, on October 31, 1993, the witches are brought back to life after a curious virgin, Max Dennison, lights the black flamed candle in the witches former residence. Upon doing so, all three witches immediately come back to life, astounded at how much has changed in the world since they were last alive. After Max, his younger sister Dani, and his girlfriend from school, Allison, flee from the cottage after meeting Binx the cat and stealing the witches unique spell book with a moving eye, the Sanderson sisters, after being sprayed with water from the sprinkler system in their home, which was later converted into a museum for historical purposes, then come to the realization that the water is harmless and that the spell they cast only calls for them to be alive on that Halloween night. Knowing this information, the sisters then go on a hunt for their stolen book and the kids that have it. Mayhem ensues as they attempt, and fail, to capture the kids throughout the film. The sisters are then lured into a high school, where they are tricked into an incinerator, burned up and reduced to smoke. However, they survive and return home. Later on, Max and Allison eventually end up opening the spell book to see what's inside. By doing so, a strong green light emits from it, which immediately alerts the witches of its whereabouts. Knowing this information, the witches travel to Max's house, retrieve the book and kidnap Dani and Binx. In response to this, Max and Allison slowly make their way, by car, to the Sanderson's cottage due to all of the children in the street thanks to Sarah's hypnotizing song. Upon their arrival, Max then tricks the sisters into thinking that the sun is coming up using the headlights of their Ford Explorer, with Max jokingly referring to it as "daylight savings time." They all then make a break for the cemetery, where they run into Billy Butcherson, who is a former deceased and mummified lover of Winnie, and who was also poisoned by her after having an affair with Sarah. Billy unwillingly follows Winnie's orders to go after the kids, only to ignore her as time goes on. Dani is later captured by Winnie again, and at that point, Max manages to steal the potion from Winnie, which was only enough for one child after Max tipped over and spoiled most of the potion earlier in the film. In any case, Max then threatens to smash the bottle in an effort to let his sister live. Winnie then threatens to kill Dani in return. Max then drinks the potion himself, which causes her to let go of Dani and pick up Max, who puts up more of a struggle. However, Max then manages to knock Winnie off of her broom, with her other two sisters following suit. Because the cemetery is hallowed ground, the witches turn to stone, with the sun rising not long after, and their statues explode into dust. After their battle is won, Billy returns to his grave, once again entering into eternal rest, and because the witches are gone, the spell on Binx is rescinded, who therefore dies. Binx then re-emerges in spirit with his sister Emily, thanking them for what they have done. After many years of being apart, Binx and Emily then walk off together into eternal life.

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy all put on a fine performance in this film and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a fan of family friendly Halloween films.
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It may work for the kids
SnoopyStyle1 November 2014
It's been 300 years since the Sanderson sisters Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) were hung for sucking the life force from a girl. They vow to return to Salem with the help of a virgin and suck the life force from all the children. Max Dennison is a new in town. He's not into Halloween. Pretty girl Allison (Vinessa Shaw) gives his number back to him. Bullies steal his shoes. He is forced to take his sister Dani (Thora Birch) trick or treating. Trying to impress Allison, he and Dani go with her to the old Sanderson house and light the black flame candle. This brings the sisters back from the dead.

This is definitely a children's horror movie. There is nothing here for everybody else. I don't like the kids. I really don't like the boy. Thora Birch is fine but she's more bratty than lovable. Vinessa Shaw is a blank. The three witches are not funny. They're not scary either, at least for adults. This may work for the kids. That's the best that I can say about it.
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sunznc26 October 2014
After seeing this the only thing I can think of Kathy Najimy's stomach turning pervy act. She didn't do or say anything that was funny. Sarah Jessica Parker acted like she had suffered from a severe brain injury and Bette MidlerÂ…Â…tired, tired, tired.

And another thing, the constant elbow in the stomach act? Please. That is so Love American Style or Tim Conway from Carol Burnett Show. Really? That was supposed to be funny?

The only positives from this film were the sets and the lighting. The only truly clever act was perhaps the corpse that comes back to live and dances around the graveyard but then, suddenly this isn't a film for kids.

Horrible. Just horrible.
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Saw it today for the first time as an adult as I never seen it since I was a kid. Not a bad film
lisafordeay19 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Hocus Pocus is a Disney movie starring singer turned actress Bette Medler,Sarah Jessica Parker,and Katy Najmy. The film tells the story of three witches long ago who sucked the life of a child in order to stay young and they turn the young girl's brother Zachary into a black cat as punishment. So the three witches got hanged and the film later cuts to the year 1993 where a boy who doesn't believe in ghouls has a crush on this girl in school called Alison. He just moved from California to go to the place where the witches were hanged many years ago and hates the sight of this new state. Of course during a Halloween outing with his sister and Alison he goes into the Sanderson Sister's house and lights the candle with the black flame,causing the three Sanderson sisters to com back to life and finish what they started,many years go.

So what is good about this movie? Well I liked the effects and the backgrounds look nice and Bette Midler sings in this movie too called I've Got A Spell On You and yeah she was great as the witch. As the other two they were good too. As for a horror film(and I hate horror films btw as they scare the crap out of me) but this one wasn't scary at all. If you have younger kids they would be afraid of it. And now for the bad,this film has something against virgins. Now as a kid I didn't notice it but when I was watching it today I was shocked that the writers would thrown in this scenario. Like seriously this is a children's movie NOT for grown ups like me.

Overall it wasn't a bad film not the best film ever made but since its Halloween soon I'd say go ahead and watch it.

Overall its a 5/10.
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Best Halloween Movie
cupcake284929 September 2014
I absolutely love this movie! I can watch it over and over. And never get tired of it. Plus I love how it has its own history within the movie. It's hilarious! And a great movie for the whole family. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel. But only if the original cast were up to it. I'm surprised my DVD hasn't messed up yet. This movie is goofy and it has its serious moments as well. The actors and actresses do a great job. Sarah Jessica Parker's character is absolutely funny. Bette Midler does an amazing job as Winnie. Kathy Najimy keeps me laughing for sure. I recommend this movie for Halloween most definitely. Or unless you just want to watch a funny movie. My favorite Halloween movie by far. :)
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great light Halloween film
xsophietaylorx24 September 2014
This film is just enjoyable to watch. From the start the characters all seem appealing and likable even the three witches. My favourite character has to be Zachary Binks the boy trapped in the cats body he really does just melt my heart as he has a soft spot for Danni and seems to get closest to her. I like how in the end we come to think Max and Allison have some chemistry. The song I put a spell on you is also very catchy and fun to listen too, the film is just good all around, good story, good costumes, good sets and overall just good! It really is beyond me how people can criticise this film it really is harmless fun it's not too scary but it does have some horror elements friendly enough for younger children. It's a non gory different Halloween film for everyone in the family.
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I was rooting for the witches.
OllieSuave-00711 April 2014
Here is a family fantasy Disney movie starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Michelle Parker as three resurrected witches from Salem, Massachusetts who want to achieve immortal life and continue their reign of terror. Therefore, it is up to teenagers Max (Omri Katz) and Allison (Vinessa Shaw), young girl Dani (Thora Birch) and an immortal black cat to stop the witches.

The movie's story is simple and childish, nothing too intriguing or suspenseful. The supposedly evil witches were portrayed as whimsical and mischievous, not the devilish, cold-hearted, and morbid types that would scare the pants off of you. I actually enjoyed watching the witches' villainous yet funny roles on screen - much better than the amateurish, sappy, lovey-dovey teenagers portrayal. The kids annoyed me so much that I was actually rooting for the witches to succeed in their plans.

It's a predictable movie that is best suited for kids. Adults should stay away.

Grade D+
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