No Halloween movie gets quite as much Tumblr love (at least on my dash regularly) as 1993’s Hocus Pocus.
And rightfully so, as Hocus Pocus is Halloweeny as fuck, taking place exclusively on 2 separate Halloweens, 300 years apart.
The film opens in 1693 with the Sanderson Sisters of Salem being hung by the locals for their generalized witchery. They vow to return on Halloween when a virgin lights their black flamed candle. This, of course happens in 1993, when California transplant and non-Halloweener Max sparks the fucker up.
Now the Sisters have one night to achieve their immortal goal, or else forever be doomed.
This (now classic) Disney treat is a holiday essential and boast perhaps the most rabid fandom of all Halloween movies. And again, it’s no surprise. The film is fun, well made, highly enjoyable and packed so full of Halloween that if you hit it with a stick, candy corn would probably cascade out.
That being said (and at the risk of pissing off a good deal of followers) I’d like to address a small issue I have concerning Hocus Pocus.
Upon a recent reviewing it became aware to me how strikingly similar the set-up is to that of a less beloved (except by this blog) and earlier Halloween adventure, Ernest Scared Stupid.
Both films begin in the past, with an angry mob of villagers capturing their picture’s villains just before they can complete an evil ritual. Then, both films find those villains prophetically declaring their return when a specific and convoluted set of circumstances arise.
Immediately cut to (in both case) a classroom, where the students are being told that story as part of a seasonal hometown lesson. Then, both the films find a foolish character (with much more hilarity in Ernest’s case) unwittingly bringing all those circumstances together.
Now, this takes nothing away from Hocus Pocus, nor does it make it any less a great Halloween picture. It just struck me as strangely coincidental, and I gotta get Ernest’s back, cause everyone hates on ‘em, and no one gives Scared Stupid half the love they show Hocus Pocus.
However, they would both make for one hell of an all-ages Halloween night double-feature, and I can think of a few other options if you wanted to go for the hat-trick. But I don’t need to tell ya’ll that. If you can read this, then you’ve probably already watched Hocus Pocus 3 times over again. Why not go for a 4th?