‘Hocus Pocus’ lives up to why you fell in love with it as a child
October 4, 2017
To preface this review, I would like to state that I am not a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker. This is not for reasons concerning appearance or the sound of her voice. This is for the personal belief that Sarah Jessica Parker is only capable of playing two people: Sarah Jessica Parker and the blonde witch from “Hocus Pocus.”
Thankfully, this review is about “Hocus Pocus.”
“Hocus Pocus” is the height of all Halloween movies and must be respected as such. In the early 2000s, you could easily pinpoint when “Hocus Pocus” and “Halloweentown” had been on the air by the number of sticks being wielded by children on playgrounds across the nation.
As I sat there watching the complimentary book shot and pan over a wooded area, I prepared myself for waves of nostalgia and glee. Really, it was glee until I saw Thackery and realized that he is not as beautiful as I remember.
Also, that his actor doesn’t really know what to do with his limbs.
The Binx is best sampled in his cat form, with only his vocals and a combination of puppets relied on to produce a cool cat.
Anyway, so the Binx watches his sister get stolen by a bunch of old women and decides to chase after them. His lack of limb control stands in the way and he basically decides to chase them via falling down a large hill and ripping all of his clothing.
He finally arrives and sees his sister sitting calmly in a chair, and is nearly snuffed out by the witches.
The witches, who are feeling pretty old and not about that, decide that they are going to do a weird vacuum thing and drink up the life of his sister. Before they can do this, however, The Binx decides to do an unsuccessful rescue attempt for his sister but fails at whooping three elderly women.
To be fair, the man did just fall down a hill and run into like fifty trees.
He does succeed at delivering a burn when he tells the witches, “There are not enough children in the world to make you beautiful.” Savage.
The sisters aren’t about that burnt life, so they decide to turn him into a CGI/puppet/animatronic cat.
The townspeople show up and are like, “Forget the children, where is the Binx?”
The Sanderson sisters are like, “I mean, who really knows? Anyway, we’re going to do some magic.”
They start doing this spell and stating the terms and conditions of their return to the earth, which is great and all but raises the question of why they are even allowed to do this.
Let me explain:
They are literally standing in front of the townspeople who are getting ready to hang them. They have ropes around their necks.
Why they didn’t just hang them midspell is beyond me.
Anyway, so the sisters set the terms and conditions, which are pretty darn specific; They can only come back to life if a virgin decides to light this one specific candle on All Hallow’s Eve while there’s a full moon.
Enter a virgin on All Hallows Eve.
Max is a professional virgin and student at Salem High School. He slides his number to girls who can disprove him in a public setting.
He also wears really unfortunately colored tie-dye which makes the cringeyness of the 90s twice as cringey.
On his way home Max manages to get bullied by the only people more likely to be mocked unrelentedly at his school; Jack and a guy who has changed his name to ICE. ICE has also shaved his new name into the back of his head. You know, so people know who he is.
ICE and Jack are not smart guys.
Max gets his trainers stolen by the two, who enjoy good footwear and great haircuts.
Max has a beautiful sister named Dani who is too good for him and precious for this world. She’s really into Halloween and witches, both of which Max hates.
Max hates all that is good in this world.
Max is supposed to take Dani trick or treating so that his mom and dad could party but Max is not about that. Max would rather an eight-year-old girl go trick or treating alone. She’s literally three feet tall and has the face of an infant.
Max is immediately shown that this would have been a horrible idea when he goes trick or treating with his sister and runs into ICE and Jack again. Dani wants Max to be a good brother for like five seconds, but instead he decides to make this poor Halloween-loving baby cry and regret her life.
She decides to get back at him by being the worst wingman and telling the girl he likes that he enjoys her various jumbly parts. This leads to the natural segue of, “Hey wanna go to a haunted witch house that’s, like, protected by a feral cat?”
Anyway, they go to the house and Max lights the virgin candle. The Binx shows up for a bit to fight, as is his given right, but Max manages to light the sucker.
The witches wake up and are ready to drink tasty childhood youth and also show off their amazing hairstyles.
The black-haired witch uses her premium-level sense of smell to detect children and kicks off the main plot of the movie: protecting children from witches while deepening the bonds of siblinghood and newfound friendship.
Because the real magic is in friendship and the many possibilities that lie within our nation’s youth.
Anyway, the Binx speaks to Max in his human voice and tells him that he needs to Nicolas Cage the witches’ spellbook and head for the hills.
This works for approximately five minutes before everyone decides to open the book and the witches are pretty much able to GPS where they are. To add insult to injury, the witches take both the book and Dani.
Even though they manage to rescue Dani, the witches are still able to brew their special child eating potion and try to force Dani to drink it.
The Binx Binxes again and jumps on the head witch, smacking the potion to Max. The head witch decides the best response to this is to mortally wound him via throwing.
So, she like straight up broke his back or something.
Max decides to drink the potion and sacrifice himself, but the head witch can’t drink him anyway because the sun has come up, so she just dies.
The Binx, who was probably just staying alive out of spite at this point, promptly dies.
But then he does this weird ghost thing? His little sister (also a ghost) rolls up and is like, “You ready to go?” and the Binx is like, “Sure.” They go into heaven together to spend the rest of eternity together.
The Binx is literally the only person in the world who would want to spend the rest of eternity with his sibling. This makes the Binx easily the most likable character.
Overall, you can see why “Hocus Pocus” did not initially reach commercial success. Parts of it were a bit weird, some of the actors weren’t quite sure how actual human beings behaved, and all the budget that would have gone to marketing instead went to various iterations of the same cat.
However, “Hocus Pocus” is an iconic movie that is still enjoyable 24 years later.
It’s just as funny as it was when I was a child, maybe even more so with the blatant ninety-ness of it all. The characters are actually likable, most things make sense, and to be honest? I really think that the remake that people are talking about is unneeded.
All of us need to leave room for improvement but, I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5.
A true Binx of a movie.