Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Review of Hocus Pocus

Written by David Kirschner & Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert
Directed by Kenny Ortega

Winifred: "Sisters, All Hallow's Eve has become a night of frolic, where children wear costumes and run amok!"

It's nearing closer and closer to Halloween and given that we're in the realm of anniversaries, it's been twenty years since this particular movie came out. I have many films I've enjoyed as a youngster and this is by far one of the best movies I have ever seen. I could easily watch it all year but for obvious reasons, this is definitely a movie that's best enjoyed during this time of year.

The plot is fantastically straightforward with three sister witches Winfred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) all being hung back in 1693 Salem when they chose to kill the wrong girl and turn her unfortunate brother, Thackery Binx (Jason Marsden) into a cat. Of course, being hung doesn't mean remaining dead as three hundred years later prove.

Having the ladies resurrected through the inadvertent actions of brother and sister duo, Max (Omri Katz) and Dani (Thora Birch) managed to spell disaster. However, Max and Dani along with the immortal cat version of Thackory and Allison (Vinessa Shaw), did make it their mission to save their town from the chaos that the Sanderson sisters had in store for the town and there are some great action scenes to behold during the movie, including some at a graveyard and school dance.

I have to admit that this movie is just a sheer joy to watch. Midler, Najimy and Parker ham it up like mad as the three witches but their OTT performances are what makes them such a joy to watch that you almost end up rooting more for them than the kids and cat that are trying to stop them. Seriously, it's really one of those movies that if you don't laugh a little at least once, then there's something wrong with you.

The kids however are a little less compelling though. Max, Dani and Allison are likeable enough but they don't really steal the limelight from their witchy enemies and the bullies in the movie that we see for a few scenes just feel a bit like filler at times.

Still those are minor complaints about a movie that has deservedly gone on to be a cult classic over the last few years. If you have somehow managed not to see this movie at some point in the last two decades, do yourself a favour and watch it and even if you've seen it one too many times, well, watch it again. I certainly intend to over the next week.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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