Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) were once the most powerful witches in Salem, Massachusetts — but “Hocus Pocus 2” gives little to fear.
The sequel, now on Disney+, picks up 29 years after the Sandersons poofed into dust.
Teenagers Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) gather for Becca’s birthday to perform their yearly ritual. Normally, it’s all fun and games. However, they soon discover they were tricked by Salem historian and Sanderson fanatic Gilbert (Sam Richardson) into lighting the Black Flame Candle.
the spooky nature of the first film ends. The sequel also makes it clear you may never see the Sanderson sisters again, but the franchise will likely continue.
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“Hocus Pocus 2” follows the legendary tale that a witch gets her powers on her 16th birthday.
Becca unlocked her power after the Sanderson sisters aim their wrath on her friend Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) who is a descendent of Reverend Traske — the man who was responsible for banishing Winifred, Mary and Sarah from Salem after the former refused to get married.
“You’re a witch!” Izzy tells Becca on their mission to rescue Cassie from being killed in a spell by the Sandersons.
Becca takes on a Glinda The Good Witch approach as she tells Book, the journal filled with spells, that he has a choice whether he wants to stay with Winifred or join her.
Book picks Becca, which means the witches can’t finish their spell.
‘Hocus Pocus’ wasn’t always beloved. Our 1993 review called it ‘moldy’ and ‘stale candy corn.’
With nearly 20 minutes left in the film, the Sanderson sisters don’t give up without a fight.
Winifred leads Mary and Sarah in the Magicae Maxima spell, without Book, to become the most powerful witches. It’s a success. The Black Flame Candle blows out but the sisters are still alive.
Instead of going on a path of destruction to claim the souls of young children, starting with Becca, Izzy and Cassie, the sisters merely play around by zapping their magic at trees and each other.
In the midst of this, Becca reminds Winifred, “The power spell takes what you love most.”
Soon, Mary and Sarah begin to disappear with the wind. “Wini, please don’t forget us. Oh, and I know, I know I was the favorite,” Mary says, as a confused Sarah asks Winifred why she isn’t coming with them.
Winifred is devastated as she calls on the universe to reverse what she’s done.
“My powers are nothing without my sisters,” Winifred says through tears. The somber moment is the film’s greatest lesson.
Winifred asks Becca and her “coven” to do a spell to reunite her with Mary and Sarah.
Becca, Izzy and Cassie succeed but sadly, it just means Winifred dies to join her sisters.
Winifred lets out one last, “Sisters!” before vanquishing.
“Hocus Pocus” OG Billie Butcherson (Doug Jones) also disappears as every spell done by the Sanderson sisters reverses.
Jen D’Angelo, 34, who wrote this sequel said the pressure of taking on a fan favorite was “terrifying.”
“I’m a huge fan so I know what ‘Hocus Pocus’ means to people,” D’Angelo told USA TODAY ahead of the New York premiere Tuesday.
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