Two friends accidentally revive the Sanderson Sisters once more,
and must defeat them before they use a spell to become all-powerful.
Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Written by Jen D'Angelo
Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker,
Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham,
Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones
Sequel to 1993's Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus 2 is the little sequel that could. The first film was not a success. It bombed at the box office thanks to a July release, and it only became a cult classic thanks to repeated airings on the Disney Channel during October. Talk of a sequel has rumbled since the late 90s, especially from Bette Midler, who fell in love with Winifred Sanderson just like the rest of us. But sequels only get greenlit if studios are certain they'll make money, which is why it took nearly thirty years for this movie to happen. Say what you want about Disney Plus and its content quality, but its existence is allowing fans to get more and more outlandish content we may never have gotten otherwise, like an Obi-Wan Kenobi series and a sequel to Hocus Pocus, which was actually pretty good.
It's been 29 years since the events of Halloween 1993, and the Sanderson Sisters have once again drifted into legend. Two aspiring witches, Becca (Peak) and Izzy (Escobedo), accidentally revive the sisters by lighting a second black flame candle gifted to them by the guy who owns the magic store. This time, the sisters seek to cast a spell that will make them all-powerful, and the Book is having second thoughts. The sequel gives some backstory to the sisters, and gives them enough character development to actually feel bad for them in certain scenes. Plus, you've got a scene-stealing Tony Hale as the Mayor of Salem and his Puritan ancestor.
Hocus Pocus 2 builds on the first film's mythology and provides another delightful family fantasy flick for an October watch. I think a lot of us expected this one to fail, but I'm glad it didn't. You can tell Midler, Najimy, and Parker are having the time of their lives returning to these characters, and their renditions of "The Bitch is Back" and "One Way or Another" just cements that fact. If you loved the first one, I do think you'll enjoy this one too.