Perform a quick Google search of “Millenials and no…” and the first topic suggested is millennials and nostalgia. At this point, it is common knowledge that the millennial generation, for better or worse, is known as the nostalgia generation. The answer to whether there is any basis for this will not be discussed in this review. But establishing the nostalgia/millennial symbiosis from the get-go allows us to go back to 1993 and look at the latest subject of a 30-something-year-old’s longing that led to the existence of Hocus Pocus 2: Hocus Pocus.
Hocus Pocus is not a good movie. It is best to get that out of the way now. No need to have you, the most esteemed reader, trick or treat your way through this review expecting Snickers and Twix only to find candy corn and those horrible individually wrapped candies from the hellish assortment bags when you get to the end. No treats, the trick’s on you.
The premise of Hocus Pocus is simple: the three Sanderson sister witches are brought back from the dead and have until morning to steal the lives of children or if not, die again. Standing in their way is Max (Omri Katz), the virgin, Allison (Vinessa Shaw), the girl Max the virgin imagines while saying creepy things to his pillow, and Max, the virgin’s sister Dani (Thora Birch), who witnesses her virgin brother saying creepy things to his pillow. (That is still 72 times less, give or take, than the awkward mentions alluding to Max’s virginity). There’s Binx (Jason Marsden), the talking cat, who apparently learned to talk only when convenient, Billy (Doug Jones), a zombie ex who does nothing that makes sense but will be forgiven because zombies are generally brainless, some adults, and Gary (Gary Marshall) and Peggy Marshall (Peggy Marshall).
After a night of 90’s hilarity, including a catchy musical number performed by the Sanderson Three, the sun rises on a new day with the witches having missed their shot at stealing the life of at least 1 child of the hundreds who were cast under a spell to make their way to the hags’ humble abode. Oh, if Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) had only not wasted time on that musical number! So, of course, they burst into sparks and are gone forever. That is until the wicked and omnipotent Nos T. Algia manages to resurrect the sisters 29 years later.
At this point, most revered reader, you might be wondering if there is anything good to this messy spectacle. In fact, there is. Midler, Parker, and Najimy shine in their roles as the Sanderson witches. They fully accept and commit to the ridiculousness of the entire affair and give audiences the most iconic live-action portrayal of the traditional crazy, cackling witch since Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West. The movie also has a heartwarming message of the love and bond between brother and sister that is the ultimate driving force of the movie’s events.
Perhaps, most enchanting reader, you are one of the millions of millennials cast under that same spell that made children of your age seek out the Sandersons in 1993. Here in 2022, the child within continues to seek out the magic experienced almost 30 years ago. The perpetual milkers at Disney have no qualms milking its latest potential cash cow for all it is worth. However, leaving sarcasm and cynicism aside, it is worth mentioning that Hocus Pocus offers fun, clean, safe, family viewing in a genre of movies that has become increasingly more adult, violent and grotesque and rarely offers anything new and worthwhile for younger viewers.
As we grow older, we forget those magical, innocent times when we would dress up and go door to door asking strangers for candy. (With adult supervision, of course!) Hocus Pocus is just one of many intellectual properties from that time that remind an entire generation of when child-like innocence was alive and well within them. It is truly a feel-good memory. Millennials may be driven by nostalgia, but what generation is not eventually guilty of invoking “the good ol’ days”? Hocus Pocus, good or not, belongs to Millenial’s “good ol’ days.” To any generation that takes issue with millennial nostalgia, make like the Sanderson sisters and be damned.