Hocus Pocus (1993) Poster

(1993)

User Reviews

Review this title
270 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
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.
11 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Yes, the film is patchy, but overall it is an under-appreciated and perfectly watchable movie
TheLittleSongbird23 October 2009
Hocus Pocus is a decent movie. I agree that it is one of the lesser live-action Disney efforts, but it is a watchable and I think under-appreciated Halloween movie. I honestly thought My Favourite Martian was worse, despite it having the wonderful Christopher Lloyd in it. Back to Hocus Pocus, it does have its flaws, the script has its weak spots, the direction is at times lifeless and Omri Katz never quite convinces in the lead. On a positive note, everything else ranges from decent to very good. Bette Midler steals the show, while having the most screen time, she is evidently relishing her role. Her co-stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy equally delight, and all three women are suitably scary and hammy. The music is very nice, I loved the catchy Put a Spell on You and I thought the beginning of the movie was superb. The camera work was good, and the special effects were decent. What I loved most though was the original storyline, there are some funny and scary moments. Kids will definitely love it, adults not so much, though my dad did like it. Overall, patchy but enjoyable. 7/10 Bethany Cox
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Buck Teeth and Yabbos
Michael_Elliott29 October 2013
Hocus Pocus (1993)

** (out of 4)

Three-hundred years after being hung, witches Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) return to Salem, MA to seek children so that they can get eternal life but it's up to three kids and a talking cat to put their plan to rest. HOCUS POCUS is a film I remember seeing when it was first released. I still remember walking out of the theater hating it and I honestly never planned to revisit it until several friends started talking about how much they loved it. It appears that the film gained a pretty good cult following over the years due to countless television showings around Halloween time but sadly the end result isn't nearly as good as some make it out to be. The film has some good ideas but none of them are really brought out to their full potential for a number of reasons but we'll start with the screenplay. The screenplay to this has a pretty good set-up or at least an interesting idea. Three witches return on Halloween night and aren't used to anything around them. This here leads to a couple good scenes where the witches meet others in costumes and don't fully realize what's going on. There's a scene with a man dressed as the devil, which is pretty funny since the witches think he's the real thing. Another decent moment happens when Midler gets to sing the 1956 song "I Put a Spell on You" but of course there's some nice eye candy as we see all sorts of costumes dancing to the music. On a visual level the film is pretty good as it does at least catch the spirit of Halloween and there's no question that the set design perfectly captures the seasons. With that said, there's really not too much going on here because the story is rather lacking and one-note. The worst thing for me is the fact that all three witches are rather annoying and I couldn't help but want to scratch my eyes out at times. I think one's enjoyment of this will depend on how you find the witches. As I found them annoying it made the entire film's comedy just seem way too forced. I'm guessing those who find the act charming will be laughing at it. The three lead actresses all do fine work in their roles but poor Midler is hidden by some ugly buck teeth and it's hard to look past that. The kid actors, including Thora Birch, are good if not totally award-worthy. HOCUS POCUS wasn't a huge hit when it was released and the critics hate it. The film was forgotten but like many films like this, it's cult audience eventually found it on television. The movie isn't awful but then again I wouldn't watch it again unless I really cared for someone wanting me to watch it with them.
1 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
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.
13 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
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.
9 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Not even Bette Midler can save it.
lee_eisenberg11 March 2006
What should have been one of the coolest movies of 1993 gets drug down by inept dialogue and over-usage of special effects. Portraying three witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) coming back to life after 300 years to take revenge on Salem, Massachusetts, "Hocus Pocus" makes you roll your eyes. Just how did the usually dependable Bette Midler get involved in this swill? And by the 1990s, wasn't it more chic to portray witches as good (ever since "Bewitched"?).

And one more thing: how could Omri Katz go from something as cool as "Matinee" to this? Oh well. At least most of the people involved in it have done good things since (namely Thora Birch). But seriously folks, why waste your time on this junk when there are so many good movies out there? The title should be "Hokey Pocus".
13 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Hocus Pocus
jboothmillard14 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I knew I had seen tiny snippets of this Disney film and knew of the three quite big female leads, so I suppose I was kind of keen to see it. Basically, 300 years ago (1693), the Sanderson sisters Winifred 'Winnie' (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) were sentenced to death for their unforgivable witchcraft, oh, and before they died they turned teenager Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) into an immortal black cat. In the present day (1993), it is Halloween, and Max (Omri Katz) and Dani Dennison (young Thora Birch), along with Max's new love interest Allison (Vinessa Shaw) have gone out trick or treating. But when they explore the old Salem Sanderson sisters' mansion, Max lights a candle and unknowingly brings the three sisters back to life. The sisters are now attempting to gather as many children to help them steal their youth, while the three kids, along with talking cat Binx are trying to find a way to put them back in their graves. Also starring Amanda Shepherd as Emily Binx, Larry Bagby as Ernie/'Ice', Tobias Jelinek as Jay, Stephanie Faracy as Jenny Dennison and Charles Rocket as Dave Dennison. The special effects and action is very slightly tame, and the three actresses make themselves look pretty ridiculous (that's their job), but the kids will obviously enjoy it. Worth watching!
1 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Too much of the teenagers, not enough jokes for the witches
moonspinner5513 October 2002
The Sanderson sisters, witches hanged in Salem some 300 years ago, are revived in the present day by three cynical kids: a high school boy (in a tie-dye shirt) and his little sister, new arrivals to the East Coast, and the boy's maybe-girlfriend. Good-looking Halloween picture from Disney has a fine, hammy cast and some lively scenes, but someone made the bad move of focusing much of the piece away from the goofy witches in favor of the too-hip teens (these enfants terribles are so blasé, not even a talking cat appears to phase them). Nevertheless, Bette Midler is in high spirits and gets a few good laughs, and she works well with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. The trio aren't always supplied with hilarious dialogue, yet they look so good together in their costumes it's tough to complain. Midler went on record soon after the picture's disappointing box-office performance as saying she felt let down by the end results...but time has a way of rectifying past perceptions, for now "Hocus Pocus" is considered a holiday classic! It must have looked surefire on paper, but a lack of real wit and cleverness makes itself felt. ** from ****
2 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
three sisters reappear after 300 years - watch out!
blanche-229 March 2012
Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker are the Sanderson Sisters, three witches who reappear after 300 years, in "Hocus Pocus," a 1993 film.

We first see the girls - Winifred, Mary, and Sarah -- back in 1683 when they stealing children and doing all kinds of wicked things. When two teens, Max and Allison (Omri Katz, Vinessa Shaw) enter the witches' old home with Max's little sister Dani (Thora Birch), they find a candle that is supposed to be lit by a virgin.

One of the kids, Zachary Binx, trying to save his sister Emily, is turned into a black cat. Eventually they are destroyed, but not before Winifred does one last potion from her very important recipe book.

Fast forward to Halloween 1993 when two teens, Max and Allison (Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw) along with Max's little sister Dani get into the Sanderson house. There they found a candle which is to be lit by a virgin. Max lights it and brings the three witches back to life. They still have their powers, but are thrown off by modern times. If they can't steal a child and take over her youth, at dawn, they will disappear forever.

Truly delightful, fun, and heartwarming film with Midler, Najimy and Parker in top form as they attempt to wreak havoc on Salem. Midler has a big number, "I Put a Spell on You," at the parents' Halloween dance, and she's terrific. This is supposedly her favorite film, though had she accepted the lead in "Sister Act," that might have beat it.

The film is loaded with funny moments, one of which is when three little girls steal the witches' brooms, and the sisters have to make do. Najimy ends up with a vacuum cleaner.

Great Halloween movie.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Hocus Pocus is Silly But On Focus **1/2
edwagreen28 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Sanderson Sisters of Salem become alive again and return to Salem to wreak absolute havoc in this inane Disney film of 1993.

Bette Midler is terrific as the oldest and ugliest sister. She is ably supported by fellow "sisters" Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. They want to "gobble" up the children of Salem so that they can remain alive.

The movie becomes slap-shot in nature as the 3 witches battle a young man and his sister, recent arrivals from California along with a beautiful young girl of the town. We have some very silly dialogue here. The thought of Najimy, so heavy and riding through the air with a vacuum cleaner is a little hard to take.
0 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Best Halloween movie ever
Calicodreamin2 October 2019
Hocus pocus is a timeless classic. The perfect Halloween movie, a combination of minor scares, great laughs, and some killer costumes. The most iconic three witches in all of Salem. I rewatch this multiple times every Halloween season, and it only gets better. A perfectly quotable masterpiece. Midler, Parker, and Najimy play their roles amazingly as three 17th century witches catapulted into the modern age. Some of the kids acting is marginal, but with so much going on you hardly notice. After all, it's just a bunch of hocus pocus.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Larry, Curly, and Moe of Witches
view_and_review22 April 2020
Though they are three witches they were not the Witches of Eastwick. "Hocus Pocus" is about as clean as you can get for a movie about witches sucking the souls out of children. I mean, at least it wasn't bloody, profane, or lewd. There wasn't even a kiss between the two lovebirds.

In 1693 three witches--Mary (Kathy Najmy), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Winifred (Bette Midler)-- were killed (don't worry, they don't show it). Before they met their demise at the hand of an angry mob, Winnie cast a spell which would bring them back to life should "a virgin light the blacklight candle on the full moon of Halloween." I know, very specific. Not many chances for that to occur.

Well, 300 years later that very thing happened when new kid on the block, Max (Omri Katz), lit the candle. He was thoroughly opposed by his little sister, Dani (Thora Birch), and cute classmate Allison (Vinessa Shaw). But if he never lit the candle, we'd have no movie.

They spent the rest of the movie trying to evade the female versions of Larry, Curly, and Moe. It's a kids' movie, no doubt. It was cute and fairly harmless. Even the witches themselves looked and behaved innocuously. I'll put it this way: the witch from "Wizard of Oz" was far scarier.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
The Witches.
morrison-dylan-fan24 October 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Catching up on episodes of Charting With Dan, I was surprised to learn that at the US box office, Tenet (2020-also reviewed) almost lost the top spot recently, to the re-release of this title. Whilst having been aware of the movie,I've never had the chance to watch it,and learning that it is also on Disney+,I got set to do some practical magic.

View on the film:

Departing from his tradition Stephen King adaptations, co-writer Mick Garris is joined by David Kirschner and Mystery Men (1999) writer Neil Cuthbert in casting a spell over a shaggy dog tale that the studio left sitting on the shelf for years, after buying it in 1984.

Merrily opening with a flashback that neatly sets up the cackling glee that bonds the three witches, the writers keep the battle between the trio and the plucky kids bubbling away with welcomed,playful arrivals of a zombie ex-lover and a immortal black cat joining in the fight to break the witches spell.

Only the second non-music video/TV episode project he had made (the first was Newsies (1992) ) director Kenny Ortega & cinematographer Hiro Narita high-kick to a joyfully Camp atmosphere, where child-friendly tributes to The Evil Dead (1981-also reviewed) are pinned onto brightly lit, spooky greens and reds that sizzle to glossy close-ups on the witches having a ball.

Sharing every scene they are in together, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy give a joyful ensemble turn, thanks to Midler hammy it up being matched by a gleeful SJP cackling away and Najimy screeching at those trying to stop the witching hour.
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
I fail to see why it has become so popular.
Aaron13755 November 2019
My wife made me watch this film, never really had a desire to do so, but I figured it wouldn't hurt. I know that for some reason, it is more popular now than it ever was in the 90's so I thought it may be good. It was not bad, but I just do not get the strange love interest people have with this thing. A few funny moments here and there; however, I just felt aside from the three witches, the rest of the cast was just not very good. Unfortunately, the focus of this thing is a kid who wishes to woo this girl that he pretty much met the same day. There was another problem in the story telling, the witches were the most charismatic thing on screen, but they made them child killers, which I felt was a bit too dark for a kid's flick and made you have to root against them.

The story starts out in Salem in the past. Three witches lure a child to their home where her brother comes to rescue her, but is too late. He is turned into a cat right before several townsfolk come to the place and for reasons unknown, Bette Midler's witch can shoot magic that can do some damage, she uses it sparingly and the three get caught and hung. So, years later a virgin boy from California has to move to Salem where these two jerks steal his shoes, but they do not get theirs in satisfying enough fashion. Seriously, they torment a poor boy by turning him into a cat for daring to rescue his sister, but these two idiots they just lock up in cages? So the sister's get revived and must suck the souls of children so that they do not turn to dust forever.

I would have rather the film focused on the three witches in modern times trying to figure things out as the scenes with stuff like that were the best. They made the witches too evil, the whole children killing thing too much, I would have rather seen them as more hapless than horrible especially since they showed instances of being very friendly and pleasant to some of the townsfolk.

So, it was okay, however, I still don't understand why it has become this massively popular film. Perhaps, there are not enough family oriented Halloween movies as there are plenty of short specials, but not as many comedy Halloween films. Still, at times, the humor in this one is a bit risque and I wonder what the heck they were thinking. The last thing I would want to take a younger child to, is a film where the one guy is wanting to get into a girl's pants and his little sister does some rather creepy things. If they had focused more on the witches and made them a bit less evil, I could see this one being a bit better than what it is.
2 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
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.

5/10
2 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Too much hocus, a lot of pocus, not much focus
StevePulaski2 November 2012
Consider me the one who stands awkwardly in a crowd of people laughing, joking, and having a good time. Hocus Pocus, a film which has gone on to be something of a cult classic, gaining replay countless times around Halloween and constantly coming up in the conversation around this time of year, to me, was a very strange, uncomfortable movie experience, mainly because of all the hocus and the pocus, none of it memorable or quite fun.

This is a film of many strong stars, various special effects, and stylistic trademarks, however, they are put in a black cauldron and are not stirred properly, if at all. There's smoke boiling all over the top of the cauldron, but what goes on inside of it is nothing shy of uneventful. If anything, the film should be memorialized as a Disney film that tried to at least do something different, creating a darker, more tween-oriented story than their previous films. We open in Salem, Massachusetts, around 1693, where we meet the three Sanderson witches, Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), who we learn prey on young children. Their goal is to suck the lives purely out of them to be able to practice witchcraft, but their plan is failed when they are killed by an angry mob of townfolk. Before dying, however, the witches enact a spell which will bring them back to life if a virgin were to light a specific candle on All Hallows' Eve.

Fast-forward three hundred years later, on October 31, 1993, and we have our subjects; Max Dennison (Omri Katz), a Los Angeles native who is upset with having to move to Salem, where he lacks any friends and has become the social pariah of the school. Reluctantly agreeing to take his annoying little sister, Dani (Thora Birch) trick-or-treating, he stumbles upon the house of his crush named Allison, played by Vinessa Shaw. Out of pure curiosity, and because they are filled with the inconsequential Halloween feeling, they venture out to an abandoned museum, where Max will light the candle naively and resurrect the Sanderson sisters, effectively establishing that the rumor all these years was true and that witches do in fact haunt the town of Salem.

The remainder of the film is chaotic to say the least; a cockamamie blend of a third-rate farce, a distorted premise, drastically unpleasant characters, lame jokes, and a ton of special effects which, more often than not, consume the screen in a murky fashion. While punctuated with scenes providing some entertainment, there are a whole lot of dry spots that plague Hocus Pocus, many of them being with the humans rather than the witches.

Yet the Sanderson sisters, the characters which the movie is built around, are not given much interesting to do. They are stereotypical witch archetypes, played by character actors clearly sagacious and intelligent enough to choose better roles. Bette Midler, while being the most entertaining, is still buried under a plethora of makeup which can't disguise her character's lack of soul and wit, and Najimy and Parker's characters might as well be low-rent versions of Larry and Curly of The Three Stooges.

There's an audience for a film like this, which has already been established by the mention and existence of a cult. If only I were able to belong to that noble group. Hocus Pocus pleased me with its ambition and versatility, yet bored me with its listless agenda. It favors chaos over pacing, special effects over characters, and shells over identifiable people. And considering that there are many more films aimed at this same market of tween obscurity, that pack stronger morals and more substance, and there are some too that just have the "let's have fun" message, to pick up and rent Hocus Pocus for the twelfth time on Halloween is like being a witch who continuously haunts the same town every year. Don't you want to try and branch out?

Starring: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw. Directed by: Kenny Ortega.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
It's a cute little Halloween flick
Smells_Like_Cheese7 September 2004
When I was a kid, I adored this movie. In fact, I thought it was the "Citizen Kane" of all movies. :D But I was only 8 when I saw this in 1993. I showed it to my little cousin, because it was a rainy day. He loved it. Of course, my opinion changed a little. I still have to say though that this is a great movie for kids. Especially if they like horror flicks. I'd suggest try and stick to the clean stuff like "Hocus Pocus". It has some laughs, even for the adults. Anyone could get into it. So, if you know a little one who comes in from Trick-or-Treating, show them "Hocus Pocus". I think they'll enjoy it. Who knows, maybe even you will. :D

6/10
3 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
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+
1 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Brings Back Childhood Memories!
g-bodyl26 August 2012
Hocus Pocus is a movie that I used to watch all the time on Halloween as a little kid. As I got older, I stopped watching this film. Recently, I decided to watch it again just to review it as an older person. I thought this movie is incredibly cheesy but it is just perfect for the children.

This film is about a group of kids who wake up a bunch of dormant witches whose goals are to kidnap children and take away their youth.

The acting is okay. I actually think that this is Sarah Jessica Parker's best role. I also liked Bette Midler as the main Sanderson witch.

Overall, this is just a fun movie for kids. It's creepy but not scary. I guess all the people who gave this bad reviews lost the feeling of what it's like to be a kid again. I rate this film 8/10.
10 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
A good family-friendly horror movie
cricketbat6 August 2018
Hocus Pocus is a good family-friendly horror movie. It's cheesy and clichéd, but that helps tone down the scariness when the witches are threatening and harming children. This feels much more like a made-for-TV movie than an actual Disney film. Nevertheless, kids will enjoy it and it may help parents get into the Halloween spirit.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A Fun, Family Friendly Halloween Pick,
lesleyharris302 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
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Average Disney
Bored_Dragon12 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.

6/10
0 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Hocus Pocus is spellbinding! It's an entertaining kid movie.
ironhorse_iv28 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This kid movie might not seem very controversial at the time, but if you look at it, today. You might be asking yourself, wait a minute, this movie was made for children? First off, the language is a bit harsh- Many of the characters swear, mostly referring to hell, and condemning people to hell. While, I don't like the reference to the Occult, bad like other critics because the fact that it's set during Halloween. I did had a problem with the movie problem with virginity in teenagers. Honestly, for a kid's movie by Disney, I thought they wouldn't be promoting underage sex, but this movie loves to mention a billion times, that being a virgin will cause witches to come back alive, and try to steal your youth. The film loves to focus on the fact that the main character is embarrassed of being a virgin and that some people have a problem with him still being a virgin. Come on, movie. The kid has just became a teenager. Do you really feel that he should knock up some girl or have multiply partners to the point that he gets STDs or AIDS? I felt that this movie teaches children to lose their virginity quickly which is wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin in your teenager years. This is very unusual for Disney to promote. The movie is selling sex like crazy in this film, from his mother wearing a Madonna pointy bra to his little sister calling attention to his girlfriend's breast. It's like the movie was a pre-teen horn dog. Directed by Kenny Ortega, the movie focus on three witches known as the Sanderson Sisters. The first witch is Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker), the youngest witch sister who has the dumb slutty blonde archetype. It's weird in a way, because this movie is made for children, yet her character is always trying to grind on the laps of men throughout the film and her breasts are always partially exposed. In my opinion, it's one of the few movies where I find Sarah Jessica Parker, kinda attractive. The other sister is Mary Sanderson, who looks and acts like the cannibal Witch Hazel from the Looney Toons cartoon. The last is Winifred 'Winnie' Sanderson (Bette Midler), the buck-toothed leader of the Sanderson sisters who hates being call ugly. The three witches were inadvertently resurrected by a virgin teenager Max (Omri Katz) along with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and classmate Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Now, they must fix their mistake, by stopping the witches with the help of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray) who been turn into a cat, years ago in 1693. For a kid's movie, it's one of the few movies Disney movies that has a children die on screen. Oh my God, the overacting in this movie is way too much. It was a bit over the top. The movie does have some funny moments that was this pretty laughable even if this movie is a bit dated. Amok! Amok, amok, amok, amok! Still, makes me laugh. Still, it had some sloppy writing. I do like the Penny and Gary Marshall cameo as 'the Master'. "I Put A Spell On You" music number in the middle of the film seems fun, but how on earth, did the Sanderson sisters know the lyrics, if they been dead for 300 years? Come little children was a pretty haunting creepy lullaby and Jessica Sarah Parker did a great song with the song. Like I said before, I don't know how this movie was ever made for children, but it was indeed made. The movie has this weird tone, as its seems to poke out of the box of safe Disney movies, just a small bit, that parents wouldn't question it too much. What other Disney movies can you see a cat get ran over or a zombie name Billy Bitcherson (Doug Jones) get his head kick off. Yes, a lot of gruesome body parts scenes in this movie. The 1990's special effects were pretty OK at the time. I agree that practical effects often look better but this film is far from that proof and holds up very well and seems to gain an even larger following as time progresses. While, never a huge hit in the box office, the film was released to VHS and was rebroadcast annually on television during Halloween, which I happen to find this movie. Overall: it's a good movie that had a lot of dark humor, that you wouldn't see much in the tamer more modern Disney movies. Despite the PG-rating, there are some things parents might want to know before showing this to their children. Still, check it out.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Magic is everywhere...
Thanos_Alfie27 October 2018
"Hocus Pocus" is a Family - Comedy movie in which we watch a youngster who is the new kid in town and doesn't believe in magic, witches, and Halloween in general. Everything changes when by his accidental actions wakes three witches who were executed 300 years ago. These three witches have only one night to secure their continuing existence and the youngster with his sister and a friend of his will do their best in order not to let the witches achieve their goal.

I liked this movie because it has an interesting plot with some very clever plot twists. I have to admit that I didn't expect to like this movie and I was thinking that it will be a boring Disney movie but I was happily surprised by it. The good plot in combination with very good interpretations had as a result, this beautiful movie. Regarding the interpretations, I have to say that I liked Omri Katz's who played as Max, Vinessa Shaw's who played as Allison and Thora Birch's who played as Dani and she was simply outstanding. Another thing that I liked in this movie was the combination of funny with dramatic moments. Kenny Ortega did a very good job in the direction of this movie and this can be easily understood in the whole duration of it.

To sum up, I have to say that "Hocus Pocus" is a great movie, with a very good cast and a well-written script. The plot is equally good and you won't get bored not even for a minute. So, I recommend everyone to see it because I am sure that you are going to enjoy it very much and you will have a lot of fun.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Very entertaining.
pmtelefon29 April 2019
I remember that when "Hocus Pocus" first came out in the theaters the critics really bashed it. I saw it anyway. I went to see it with my then girlfriend (now wife). We were deep in our 20s back then. I liked "Hocus Pocus" then and I still really enjoy it now. It fell out of my rotation for some reason and that's a shame. It's a very funny and exciting movie. Bette Midler is great. The rest of the cast isn't far behind. I need to watch this one more often. It's a lot of fun. Honorable mention: a dreamy Sarah Jessica Parker.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed