The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Hocus Pocus 2: Not even magic can make this film enjoyable

Disney+/Fair use
Hocus Pocus two official release poster.

Hocus Pocus was a huge hit when it came out 30 years ago, and many were anticipating the release of “Hocus Pocus 2” even before it was announced to debut this month. Generations of moviegoers were excited to relive their childhood and share it with their children.

Unfortunately, the film has left many, including me, disappointed. Hocus Pocus 2 felt like Disney’s final attempt to continue its legacy.

Watching movies is an activity many do to unwind and relax. Wanting to sit back and watch mindlessly is an ideal state for the average movie-watcher. Going into the movie, I wanted just this –  a fun Halloween film to guide me into the spooky season. Unfortunately, the film did just the opposite. Hocus Pocus 2 failed to recreate the same cozy atmosphere that made the first movie so enjoyable to watch, leaving viewers feeling cold and removed from what was happening on the screen. Unlike the first film, the sequel’s polished and professional style also took away from the ambiance created in the original. As the movie progressed, I felt disengaged and the style distracted me from the plot.

Instead of being absorbed into the film, I felt three steps back from where the producers wanted me to be and questioned the events leading up to the movie’s climax. What was once a lighthearted Halloween movie turned into a puzzle I was left to solve.

From the opening scene to the credits, I asked what the characters were doing in each scene point and the film began abruptly and quickly. The minute the screen lit up, I fell behind with no idea what was happening. This set me up for the remainder of the movie, as I was still asking questions from the opening scene. Viewers who had not watched the original would be even more lost than I.

The original Hocus Pocus focused on familial relationships, specifically sibling dynamics. The second movie differed from this and focused on changes in friendships while growing up. I enjoyed the emphasis on the family from the original and was not keen on the new perspective. However, as the movie progressed, a newfound relatability began for me, as the characters’ changes felt pertinent to high school friendships. For example, the movie showcased how friendships changed when first loves were found. Nevertheless, I would have liked to see the film’s creator stay consistent with focal points as it would have been more cohesive.

Not only did this change of perspective catch me off guard, but it also felt less like a sequel and more like a movie inspired by Hocus Pocus. I am sure the producers felt it would be boring to continue with the theme of dynamics in families; however, I think the movie would have been more successful if they had stuck to the original theme to create more continuity. Instead of introducing a new set of characters, I would have liked to have seen a continuation of the sisters’ relationships. 

The motion picture reminded me of a gift you put on your Christmas list. You ask for it expecting it to be the best thing ever. Your hopes are so high that nothing can live up to the expectations you have created. When you open it, the expectations you prayed to be met are nothing close as you finish with disappointment. 

The film also reminded me of the reboot of Arrested Development in 2013; viewers of the sitcom loved the show and were upset when told the show would be ending. To make viewers happy, producers returned the show for a fourth season. The reboot reminded viewers that sometimes it is best to leave a good thing for fear of messing it up.

The only redeeming quality of the film was the soundtrack; the film included catchy songs that instantly got stuck in my head. 

If you want a movie to get you in the spooky spirit, you would be better off choosing a different film. 


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About the Contributor
Abigail Sinarle, Staff Writer
Abigail Sinarle is a junior at Carlmont High School and a second-year journalist with Scot Scoop. She enjoys posting creative content for Scots Scoop. Outside of school, she can be found spending time with friends and family in nature. You can find her on Twitter: @AbigailSinarle

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Hocus Pocus 2: Not even magic can make this film enjoyable