Hocus Pocus 2 review: Sanderson sisters strike again

Hocus Pocus 2 follows the Sanderson sisters who have been resurrected again and are now seeking to achieve eternal youth and wreak havoc in modern-day Salem.


Hocus Pocus 2 establishes the origins of the Sanderson sisters way back in 1653 Salem. The teenage sisters are about to be separated because Winifred defied the church and refused to marry the man they chose for her.

However, Winnie doesn’t let that happen and along with Mary and Sarah, dashes off to the forbidden forest. Their escapade is met with a scary encounter when the Mother Witch materializes in front of them.

Mother Witch is impressed by the mischievous sisters and their bond, following which she gifts her book of spells to Winnie for her sixteenth birthday.

Back to present-day Salem, the film introduces the other slew of main characters — Becca, Izzy, and Cassie. While Becca and Izzy are preparing for the former’s birthday, Cassie is not participating since she has been estranged from the two for a while.

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Becca and Izzy head to Gilbert’s magic shop that’s built on the same cottage where the Sanderson sisters lived. Gilbert gifts them the Black Flame Candle and the two girls set it aflame while doing their annual birthday ritual.

They inadvertently end up resurrecting the Sanderson sisters and now must evade them.

However, the sisters are not easy to dupe and Becca ends up getting imprisoned in their basement while the sisters go and hunt for Cassie (because his father is a look-alike and descendant of the Reverend from 1653).

Gilbert, meanwhile, reveals he knew about the sisters ever since they first got resurrected twenty-nine years ago and is a great fan of them. However, his admiration wins him no prizes, instead, the sisters bind him to a contract which entails him collecting the required ingredient for Winnie to cast the big spell before time runs out.

The sisters capture Cassie and Winnie defies the advice of Mother Witch to never cast the Magicae Maxima spell. She casts the spell, without learning about the warning that says the caster will have to sacrifice that which they love most to cast the spell.

Winnie becomes powerful but Mary and Sarah start vanishing as a drawback of the spell. Winnie regrets her mistake and asks the book to undo her folly.

Thankfully for Winnie, Becca is a witch — a fact she and her friends have just discovered — and there’s a counter spell for Magicae Maxima. Becca, Izzy, and Cassie cast the counter spell and Winnie is reunited with her sisters, not on Earth but in a realm beyond.


Hocus Pocus 2 is replete with delightful performances that also manage to recreate the giddy and colourful magic of the original.

Bette Midler is great as the leader of the Sanderson sisters, with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimi playing the perfect aloof foils to her.

Some of the callback acts and references in their performances only add to the magic and instead of feeling forced they feel genuinely amusing.

The performances of the younger cast also contribute heavily to the film’s success as a worthy sequel. Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, and Lilia Buckingham all do a great job and their on-screen chemistry feels genuine.


Hocus Pocus is surprisingly a solid sequel among a barrage of Disney sequels to the classics that fall short of just about everything except for the nostalgia bait.

The magical vibe of the original is recreated successfully and watching the Sanderson sisters going about their good old shenanigans again is, at times, hilarious.

There’s a certain amount of backstory given to the Sanderson sisters that enables the viewers to better empathize with their usual diableries.


For the first ten or so minutes attributed entirely to the Sanderson sisters’ origin stories, there’s not nearly as much character development as they should have gone through by the end.

Hocus Pocus 2 bids farewell to the sisters in a rather abrupt and unsatisfactory manner, even if the moment is very emotional and heartfelt.

Sarah and Mary are deprived of properly going through character development which leaves something to be desired.


Hocus Pocus 2 is a joyous affair that sees the Sanderson sisters return to the living again and go on about their impishness with the same aloofness and cluelessness about the modern world as before. For the fans of the original, the sequel manages to recreate the magic as well as replicate the warmth and fuzzy feeling of its predecessor.

Hocus Pocus 2
Hocus Pocus 2 review: Sanderson sisters strike again 1

Director: Anne Fletcher

Date Created: 2022-09-30 12:30

Editor's Rating:

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