Gather round all you goblins and ghouls. The regular Good Ol’ Days Does Disney column has been hijacked for Halloween this week as we take a stroll down memory lane with a different type of Disney classic: a live-action one, Hocus Pocus.
That’s right. Halloween is the perfect time to grab to dust this gem of a flick off and rewatch it countless of times. With its witty blend of both adult and child humour, it’s the perfect film to share with your tiny humans as the world celebrates one of the best holidays around.
The film tells the tale of magic and mischief that started many moons ago…
In the year 1693, the Sanderson sisters, Winifred, Mary and Sarah were executed for their unforgivable witchcraft as they were trying to suck the life out of the town’s children. One fateful Halloween night, that unpleasant fate went to adorable little Emily Binx, sister of teenage Thackery, who immediately ran to his sister’s aid when he heard she’d been lured by Sarah to the witches’ home in the woods. This was not a well thought out plan though, and the cost was not only the life of his sister, but his own humanity as well. Emily’s lifeforce was drained from her body by the witches, and Thackery was transformed into an immortal black cat, cursed to live forever with the guilt of his failure! Luckily for the rest of the children of Salem, the sisters were captured that night and hung for their crimes, but not before their living book of spells revealed to them a curse to bring the three back from the dead on All Hallow’s Eve when a virgin lights the black flame candle.
Exactly 300 years later, Max Dennison, said virgin, arrives in Salem, struggling to adjust after growing up in a California lifestyle. It isn’t going well for Max. Bullies are stealing his sneakers right off his feet, the girl of his dreams snubs him due to his lack of interest in Halloween, and his little sister, Dani, as sisters are, is a huge pest. Now, he must spend the evening escorting her door to door for trick or treating while their parents enjoy the town Halloween dance. Things are about to go from bad to worse for Max, however. Just when he believes things are looking up after he and Dani convince dream-girl Allison to take them to the old Sanderson house, Max’s efforts to impress the girl lead him to light the black-flame candle himself, bringing Sarah, Mary, and Winifred back from the dead!
It’s a non-stop, fun-filled chase as the witches pursue the children, being thwarted at every corner, determined to make sassy-mouthed Dani the subject of their next youth spell, which must be performed before dawn or else the witches will be gone forever! With Binx guiding and helping them along, Max, Dani, and Allison work together to outrun, outwit, and outlast the evil trio and their magical arsenal, with the fate of all the children of Salem hanging in the balance, which they do successfully though they must say goodbye to Binx.
Has it been mentioned that the film features the talent of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy? Midler absolutely nails her part of Winifred, full of sass and wit.
Best retort? When Max tells her to go to hell, and she responds with this:
Then there’s Sarah Jessica Parker; not as sassy as Midler but she has her moments.
If you haven’t yet, go ahead and make this your family’s go to film tonight as we wrap up our celebration of Halloween!
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