“The Witches Are Back” in Hocus Pocus 2: A Review


Shyler Yost

Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

I recently had the opportunity to see ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ with the French and German clubs. I was not a huge fan of the first Hocus Pocus film, but after hearing positive comments about the sequel, I was curious to see how the story of the Sanderson Sisters and potential new characters would continue to unfold. After watching the second Hocus Pocus film, I have to say that I enjoyed it. While it is not my absolute favorite movie I’ve ever seen, the film was humorous, clever, and even held some valuable themes of friendship and sacrifice.

After Salem native Becca is gifted a candle from a shopkeeper for her 16th birthday, she and her best friend Izzy decide to experiment with it in the woods. Both Izzy and Becca have always been fascinated with witchcraft and the stories of the infamous Sanderson sisters- a trio of witches. However, the girls soon realize that this mysterious candle is actually a dark candle that brings the witches back from the dead for one night- and the witches intend to wreak havoc upon Salem! Becca and Izzy find themselves having to defend Salem while trying to repair a relationship with an old friend, defend the city mayor, and ensure that they survive.

While actresses Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker all brought great energy, humor, and fun into their roles as Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson, I also enjoyed watching the new characters that were introduced with this sequel. I thought that Belissa Escobedo, who played the character of Izzy, did a fantastic job in every scene, whether it was emotional or comedic. She captured the essence of being awestruck at the return of the Sanderson sisters and immediately became likable with her humorous and lighthearted nature. Sam Richardson, who starred as Gilbert the shopkeeper, was able to accurately emphasize his character’s fear and utter disbelief as he became entangled with the demands of the Sanderson sisters and the struggle to protect Salem. I think the new characters are relatable and enjoyable to watch, and the comedic aspects are strong in ‘Hocus Pocus 2’.

I think that one of my favorite parts of the sequel was getting to see the Sanderson sisters as children in Salem. Taylor Henderson, who played young Winifred Sanderson, was able to show Winifred’s spunky attitude and determination to be herself in a small portion of the movie. We also had the opportunity to see the young Sanderson sisters’ relationships with one another as the film showed the sisters living together and cracking jokes about other people living in Salem. In the first minutes of the film, we additionally saw how Winifred, the witch who has been deemed the most infamous of each of the sisters, gained her powers on her 16th birthday. These moments allowed me to really understand the bond between the Sanderson sisters and their characterization.

Overall, I would say that ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ is great if you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted film to see with your family. There is plenty of comedy in the movie that is sure to delight viewers of a variety of ages, and characters that are both new and old shine through with dialogue, actions, and relationships with one another. While Halloween may be over and the season is wrapping up, this movie can be enjoyed at any time by various audiences. I recommend watching ‘Hocus Pocus 2’!



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