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The Sanderson Sisters Are Back: “Hocus Pocus 2” Review

The Sanderson Sisters Are Back: “Hocus Pocus 2” Review

The following represents the opinion of the student reporter and does not represent the views of Loyola University Maryland, the Greyhound, or Loyola University’s Department of Communication.

It’s officially the Halloween season which means it’s the perfect time to stay in and watch movies. “Hocus Pocus” was released in 1993 and is filled with famous actors like Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. On Sept. 30, Disney released its sequel, “Hocus Pocus 2.” Many Loyola students had feelings and opinions surrounding the release.

Like many sequels, they never seem to hit the nail on the head as the first one does. The film did a great job of representing the history of the Sanderson Sisters and gave some context about the original plot of the film to those who may have never seen it before.

Kyra Hultgren ‘26 felt that the sequel didn’t live up to her standards. 

“I was really excited to watch the second movie,” said Hultgren. “This is a movie I used to watch all the time when I was younger, but I was disappointed in the sequel. It didn’t feel as magical and engaging as the first one.”

The dialogue appeared to be aimed toward a younger audience, but the jokes did refer to many modern technologies, such as Rumbas and automatic doors, as well as mentioning and including other things like veganism, Swiffers, “Good Morning America”, and drag queens. One character even refers to Winifred as having a “resting witch face.”

One scene involves the whole town of Salem dancing and singing their version of “One Way or Another.” Kassandra Carey ‘26, a performing arts major, was not a fan of the scene. 

Carey said, “The music scene was…something. It was definitely a good song choice. I think that it’s a good song. But the movie itself was not something for me.” 

As for my own critiques, I would have liked to see more of the original cast involved in the sequel. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy appeared to enjoy filming and reuniting for this sequel. Their chemistry and enthusiasm during the musical numbers were contagious, and the delivery of their lines about how the witches were finally back was filled with so much joy. They made tons of references to the first “Hocus Pocus” and dropped lots of easter eggs throughout. Some of these included references to Thackery the cat, Halloween costumes of old characters, catchphrases used from the first movie, the “mother witch” wearing a costume that resembles Dani in the first movie, and finally, two men watching the original “Hocus Pocus” through the window when the witches are flying around. 

Sequels tend to leave viewers questioning why they even tried to outdo the original movie in the first place. Vivien Van’t Hof ‘26, a big Hocus Pocus fan, agreed completely, especially in regards to the additions of modernities. 

“The first one is just so much better. Why make a sequel when the first one’s so good?” said Van’t Hof. “I felt like adding modern technology to it ruined the whole witchy vibe of it. Like, using Rumbas and vacuums? I just hated that. Why ruin the whole witchy aesthetic?”

Collectively, “Hocus Pocus 2” has received some mixed opinions. Although some believed the sequel was underwhelming, some feel aspects like the musical numbers have potential and are still enjoyable. This movie is a comfort movie to many and brings back memories and nostalgia. Regardless of opinions, it’s still enjoyable to see the original cast reunite, and enjoy themselves while creating a film that impacted the lives of many. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Jenna Mattern 

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