The Sanderson Sisters are back after nearly three decades of more mayhem in Salem. However, they may have really met their match this time.

Becca and Izzy are best friends in Salem. They have been learning about witchcraft for many years and at one time, they even had their best friend Cassie in the mix. However, Cassie has moved on to a relationship with Mike and since then, she’s pretty much ignored her friends. On Becca’s 16th birthday, which is also Halloween, Cassie plans to throw a party while her father, the Mayor, is attending the town festival. However, Becca and Izzy have something special planned, but something is about to be in store for them.

With the help of Gilbert, who owns the local magic shop, Becca and Izzy obtain a Black Magic Candle and perform a spell in the middle of a cemetery. The candle is lit and soon enough, after 29 years, Salem’s Sanderson Sisters have returned. Winnie, Mary, and Sarah are surprised to see how the world has changed since their last endeavor. When the sisters decide to wreak havoc again, Becca and Izzy realize they must be the ones to stop them especially when Becky discovers she has powers of her own. Meanwhile, Winnie plans to use the ultimate spell and gain the ultimate power but at what cost.

The 1993 film Hocus Pocus was a massive hit for Disney thanks to the brilliant performances of Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters. Of course, with the film being a hit, it was always inevitable that there would be a sequel and despite having a novelized sequel that involved the child of the first film’s heroes, Disney opted to go a different route for the film sequel and while it can’t compare to the original, it still isn’t such a bad film.

What is very interesting is the notion we have three new protagonists in the form of best friends Becca and Izzy, played by Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo. Lilia Buckingham’s Cassie is the estranged friend who must become the third to somehow match wits with the sisters despite her leaving her friends. We also learn there is another connection between the two films in the form of magic shop owner Gilbert, played by Werewolves Within’s Sam Robertson, who like that previous film, gets to showcase his flair for comedy. His scene when he unearths Doug Jones’ returning Billy Butcherson is a hoot!

As with the previous film, there is a big musical scene involving the sisters. This time, they cover the Blondie classic “One Way or Another” as opposed to another Halloween song. One of the running gags of the film involves Tony Hale’s Mayor yearning to get a caramel apple from a respected candy kiosk he brought back to town after national exposure. The film has an ending that actually is quite shocking because of how it all turns out, but could there be a Hocus Pocus 3 on the horizon? If so, let’s now wait another 30 years.

Hocus Pocus 2 doesn’t completely have all the magic that the first one has. However, it is a pretty decent sequel that does bring back nostalgia at the right moments. It’s a pretty much watch once and maybe not watch it again for a while where the first one is an essential everyday viewing this Halloween (and all-year if that’s your thing).


A Disney+ original film. Director: Anne Fletcher. Producer: Lynn Harris. Writers: Jen D’Angelo, David Kirschner, and Blake Harris; based on characters created by Kirschner and Mick Garris. Cinematography: Elliot Davis. Editing: Julia Wong.

Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Froy Gutierrez, Sam Richardson, Doug Jones, Tony Hale, Taylor Henderson, Nina Kitchen, Juju Journey Brener.