7 Reactions Watching Hocus Pocus for the First Time
Updated: May 10, 2022
Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has had a safe and enjoyable time celebrating spooky season this year. I started my Halloweekend by watching Hocus Pocus with my roommate. I had never seen it before, and I had no idea what I was in for. All of the knowledge I had about this classic Halloween movie was from the Disney Plus description: “Conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters, a tricky trio of 300-year-old witches set out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth. But first, they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat.”
When I first saw this blurb, I thought, 'THAT'S what Hocus Pocus is about?!'
When I finally watched the movie, it was a wild time in which I had many thoughts and reactions, and on this Halloween night, I will share the most significant ones:
(1) Doctor Who Vibes
Right off the bat, the opening scene of Hocus Pocus reminded me of the beginning of the 2007 episode of Doctor Who, “The Shakespeare Code.” Both start in a historical era long past, with a young man stumbling upon a trio of witches cooking up trouble. Total deja vu.
(2) Harry Potter Vibes, and Not in a Good Way
This note is specifically about Winnifred’s spell book. It could move as if it were alive, like the textbook Hagrid required for Care of Magical Creatures class, the Monster Book of Monsters. Also, it seemed to be sentient, like Tom Riddle’s diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Obviously, after making these two comparisons, I was freaked out by this book. I felt like it had the potential to be the real villain of the story.
(3) Is this really a children’s movie?
(Spoiler Alert) Within the first ten minutes of the film, the Sanderson sisters suck the life force out of a little girl, and then they are HUNG by the townspeople? Their execution wasn’t even subtle! Also, “virginity” is mentioned about 10 times throughout the film, which is about 10 times too many. I was seriously questioning, WHO IS THIS MOVIE FOR?!
(4) Some sequences took too long...
...especially in the beginning of the movie. After the Sanderson sisters are executed, the story drags quite a bit. We spend about 20 minutes in 90s Salem, with the Sanderson sisters nowhere in sight. For a movie about 3 sister witches, too many teenage boys were getting too much screen time.
(5) Some of the weirdest Halloween parties
There were two Halloween parties in Hocus Pocus, and both of them struck me as odd. The party hosted by Allison’s parents was the most boring Halloween party I had ever seen. While most Hallween parties are interesting because all the guests are wearing something unique and creative, everyone in attendance at this party was dressed in the same style of costume. It looked more like a ballroom scene in a period drama. The other party was a party held at city hall that lasted UNTIL DAWN. I know I like to get home early on the nights I go out, but that seemed excessive, especially for a public function.
(6) Dani gave the best performance
Dani, the eight-year-old little sister played by Thora Birch, was the highlight of the movie for me! She had wit, attitude, and sweetness. She commanded her scenes and held her own with, and even outshined, the older actors in the movie. And above all, she was fun to watch.
(7) The Sanderson sisters were very entertaining
While the plot of the movie is bonkers, the three witches consistently made me laugh. Together, the three of them were visually engaging and comedic, especially when they would hitch up their skirts and walk in unison. They were wacky and chaotic in all the best ways. I can see why they have become Hallween mainstay.
Overall, Hocus Pocus was a bizarre, confusing, yet ultimately entertaining experience. I am glad that I finally watched it, but my go-to Halloween movies are still the Halloweentown saga (see my Halloweentown post from last year here).
What is your favorite Halloween movie?