Everyone’s feelings towards films change as they grow up but Hocus Pocus will always hold a special place in my heart. I used to watch it every year with my little brother when it came on Nickelodeon, and even though it’s now 20 years old(!) it has aged really well. It’s one of those Halloween flicks which is silly and fun rather than truly terrifying. Kinda like Scream but with a lot less blood.
In 1693, the Sanderson sisters lure sweet, little Emily Binx to the woods in order to suck the life from her, thereby making themselves young and beautiful. But before they can crack on with the rest of the kids in Salem, her big brother gets turned into a cat, doomed to walk the streets forever for his efforts to save her, and the town folk hang the sisters. 300 years later and new kid on the block Max tries to impress the beautiful Alison by claiming he’s afraid of no ghosts and lighting the black flame candle. Turns out it’s not just a bunch of hocus pocus and the sisters are back and plan to kill the kids in town in their quest for eternal life. And they’re starting with Max’s little sister, Dani!
Am I the only one whose heart strings got tugged beyond belief when Thackery died at the end? I re-watched it on Tuesday and I swear I must be getting soft in my old age. I don’t think Halloween films are meant to make you cry at the end, but to me, a sign of a good film is its ability to make you feel something. Other Halloween faves for me include Scream and Scream 2 (which I saw for the first time at a Halloween sleepover when I was 11) and Carrie and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (again, which I saw for the first time at a Halloween sleepover when I was about 13). There’s something about that first time you watch a film and the circumstances in which you watch it. If the film is that powerful, it’ll stay with you forever.
This film review first appeared on aliljoy on 23 October 2013.