Sunday, October 24, 2010

SOTW: Hocus Pocus Review

In the late 1600's the three Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) are sentenced to death. Thackary Binx follows his little sister into their Salem home and finds them sucking the life out of her. But before the town can get their vengeance, they cast a spell which will bring them back when a virgin lights a certain "black-flame" candle in their house.

It's 1993, Max Dennison (Omri Katz) and his family have just moved to Salem. He hates the town, the school and all the excitement about Halloween and most of all doesn't believe in the Sanderson legend. When forced to take his little sister Dani (Thora Birch) out trick-or-treating they end up at his crush's house.

Allison (Vinessa Shaw) is bored with the party at her house, so they decide to visit the Sanderson house. The sceptical Max ends up lighting the black-flame candle, landing them, and especially Dani, into big trouble...

Hocus Pocus has a very good cast, from Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker (5 years before Sex and the City starts) to my favorite in this movie, the young Thora Birch. She's sassy, smart and funny.

This movie is directed by Kenny Ortega, who was also involved with Michael Jackson's "This is It", the High School Musical films and some Ally McBeal and Gilmore Girls episodes. As you might expect knowing this, it's quirky, fast-paced and it has got some great music. The song Sarah Sanderson sings to lure the children is quite hauntingly beautiful and there is a party scene where Winifred sing the awesome "I Put A Spell on You".

I love the witches' costumes and make-up. The whole look of this movie is just perfect for the season. It's got creepy graveyards, halloween decorations everywhere and the town has that warm autumn look during the day and a suitably ominous feel during the night.

I'd definitely recommend watching this, especially if you've got little kids around. Hocus Pocus is a great family film which captures the spirit of Halloween perfectly and will set the right mood for a night of dressing up, trick-or-treating and telling scary stories in the dark!

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