Sunday, October 25, 2009

31 Days of Halloween: It Is Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

It isn't Halloween at my house until I watch Disney's family friendly, witch hanging film Hocus Pocus (1993), directed by Kenny Ortega.

The story starts back in 1693 Salem, Massachusetts, when three witch sisters--Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy)--are hanged after killing Emily to prolong their own lives and turning her brother into Binx, a talking black cat doomed to life of eternity. But just before they die, Winifred's spell book casts a spell to bring the three of them back from the dead (when a virgin lights the Black Flamed Candle).

The story shifts three hundred years later to 1993. Teenager Max (Omri Katz) is having trouble adjusting after recently moving with his family from LA. He gets put down in class and flirted with and then ignored by girl of his dreams Allison (Vinessa Shaw). His wrongdoing in class was not believing the tale of the three legendary witches.

On Halloween, Max, his sister Dani and new friend Allison decide to visit the old dusty cottage of the witches which now has become an broken down museum. Unsuspecting Max, being a virgin, lights the Black Flamed Candle, which rasises the three evil witches from the dead. Max, Allison, and Dani go on a wild and hilarious chase to destroy the Sanderson sisters before it is too late and before the Sanderson sisters can suck the lives out of all the children.

One of my favorite scenes is when Winifred jumps on stage and and performs her song "I Put A Spell On You" which puts a spell on all of the adults ''to dance until they die.'''Another favorite scene is when Sarah flies across Salem, singing a charming but haunting song, putting a spell on the children and luring them towards the cottage. Bette Midler (named after Bette Davis) is wonderful in this fun film with her red hair done up into a scary hairdo, and two little buck teeth.

Sarah Jessica Parker's first important acting role was the 1977-81 Broadway musical Annie— first in a small role and then taking over the lead role of the depression-era orphan, beginning on March 6, 1979. Parker held the role for a year.


  1. Dawn, I thought this was a really fun movie! Thanks for doing such a good piece on it!

  2. Dawn, I don't believe I've seen this since it was at the theatre. Your enthusiastic review has me thinking I need to see it again!

  3. Darn it, this movie was just on yesterday on some channel, and I missed it. I've never seen it, but it sounds like fun. I didn't know Sarah Jessica Parker ever played Annie! Interesting!

  4. Dawn, I've never seen this movie. I can't imagine it being as good as your review. But I'll check it out anyway! Thanks for a great write-up!

  5. Dawn, I don't remember being a fan of this movie when it came out. Your enthusiasm is, however, infectious and I may have to check it out again. Thanks for a fun blog!

  6. Thank you everyone. I really loved the music, special effects, and magic in this cute Halloween movie.