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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

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Sarah (left), Winifred (middle), and Mary (right) Sanderson at Walgreens. Image from Variety.com

It’s been almost 30 years since the Sanderson Sisters set foot in Salem. The release of “Hocus Pocus 2” brought forth a spellbinding mix of emotions of generations loving and also hating the long-awaited sequel.

Disney first announced the new comedy film through a teaser trailer in late June that amassed over 40 million views in its first 24 hours. The second trailer debuted at the D23 Expo showcasing new and returning cast members. 

Most people were relieved to see the Sanderson Sisters being played by the original cast: Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, and Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson. Doug Jones also returned to play zombie Billy Butcherson.

The sequel brought forth another adventurous Halloween night with some updated scenes match well with today’s day in age while paying tribute to the original movie. While the first film focused on familial relationships, the sequel highlights friendships. Viewers were also able to see the Sanderson sisters’ backstory.

Fast forward to modern day, three young teenagers who enjoy practicing witchcraft and alchemy accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters who have the lifelong mission of capturing and devouring all the children of Salem.

As of October 4, 2022, the sequel achieved the title of #1 film premiere on Disney Plus.

Thoughts From a New Viewer

Until a month ago, I had never fully watched the first 1993 film “Hocus Pocus”. I have always seen pictures of the witches and heard popular songs like “I Put a Spell on You” throughout my childhood, but I have never actually sat down and watched the Halloween classic. 

I watched the original for the first time in mid-September and absolutely loved it. It made sense as to how the film became a phenomenon. The love for the witches continues with the sequel being just as exciting and fun. 

For someone new to the story of the Sanderson Sisters, this duology is perfect as a family Halloween tradition and in carrying the story for generations to come. 

I found the sequel to be more lighthearted and sweet than the original. It was very nice to receive an origin story of the witches to start in the first 12 minutes. The film then quickly shifts to modern day, and we do not see the Sanderson Sisters again until the 27-minute mark. However, the film immediately became more exciting and enjoyable as soon as the widely-loved trio turned up. 

Modern-day appliances like robot vacuums and stores like Walgreens were used to bring more of a relatable feel to the film. The scenes were hilariously laid out knowing the Sanderson Sisters were oblivious to modern-day practices. Middle scenes kept the film engaging, and the ending was bittersweet which made for a nice close to the story. 

I thought the sequel had a good balance between making longtime fans happy and newer viewers, like me, understand and enjoy watching without being too confusing. If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted Halloween film experience, the “Hocus Pocus” duology is the one to watch.

A “Hocus Pocus 2” Watch Party

The release of Hocus Pocus 2 gave me and my two other roommates (and writers!) Sachi Tolani and Karson Wells an idea to host a watch party with some of our friends. The plan was perfect as we decided to dress up as Winnie, Sarah, and Mary and stream it on the night it came out. 

Being the extra trio we are, we headed straight to our local Spirit Halloween store and snagged the official witch hats from the movie. We also bought ourselves a cauldron mister, made tacos, baked pumpkin cupcakes, and created a cling wrap candy ball for a quick, fun game.

Everyone who attended had a blast and overall enjoyed the movie. It ended up being one of our best ideas yet, and we have been eager to host another gathering like this again!

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Janice Lee, Karson Wells, and Sachi Tolani as hosts for the Hocus Pocus 2 watch party. Photo collage created by Janice Lee on Canva.com.

What are some of your thoughts on this long-awaited sequel?

Let us know @HerCampusSJSU.

Hi! I'm Janice, and I'm a fourth year business marketing major at SJSU. I love exploring new food places, hanging out with friends, video games, reading and doing portrait photography. Thank you for reading through my stories!